Karim Benzema stands as the best number nine in the world on Sunday after his hat-trick led Real Madrid to a 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao. The French Striker stands out as the only Madrid player who is playing well in such a disappointing season. The victory moves Madrid four points behind second-placed Atletico. Bilbao stays seventh, with chances sealing a spot in the Europa League.
Benzema said at the start of the season he wanted 35 in all competitions and, though his opportunities were reduced by his team’s early exit in the Champions League, he is now only five shorts with the same number of games left to play.
Zidane has already said he expects Benzema to stay in the whole season. Without him, Madrid lacked spark in the final third and, and at last in the end, the emphatic shoreline flattered them. The game of Madrid was reduced to almost a walking pace around the hour mark, with the Madrid fans roused only to mock the introduction of Bale, who came on with Isco, with 20 minutes left.
The hat-trick gave Benzema 30 in all competitions this season. He has 21 goals in the league, second only to Lionel Messi who scored 33 goals. After a drab 45 minutes, Benzema ignited Madrid in the second half. He jumped highest to head in his first two goals from crosses by Marco Asensio and Luca Modric in the 47th and 76th minute. He capped the win in the 90th minute after Bilbao goalkeeper Herrerin gifted the ball to Bale and Bale laid the ball off for Benzema who float a long strike into the empty net.
In any case, it was his kept running in behind that won the corner for Benzema’s second, another header, this time at the back post, before a diverting misunderstanding in the Bilbao safeguard skilled him his cap trap.