Karim Benzema scored twice in Real Madrid’s convincing victory against Elche at Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid 4-0 Elche: Benzema passes Raul to become Los Blancos’ second all-time leading scorer in the history of La Liga.
Put the shocking defeat at Mallorca behind, Real Madrid convincingly eased bottom side Elche in a one-sided game at home in La Liga matchday 21 of the royal club.
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Carlo Ancelotti’s side capitalized the mid-week fixture at home by closing the gap on the league leaders Barcelona to eight points.
Second place Real took the lead in the eighth minute, with Marco Asensio’s quick feet to slot past Elche’s Edgar Badia. As the deadlock was broken, the game was much more comfortable for the capital club.
The club captain was on target, not once, but twice before half-time break, with both goals were from the penalty spot.
Benzema had his header blocked by Enzo Roco’s hand, which led to the first spot-kick and the French striker calmly converted, just after the hour-mark.
Then Diego Gonzalez felled Rodrygo inside the penalty area, and Benzema repeated the three-goal feat in first-half stoppage time. Two goals were enough to put Benzema as his club’s second-highest La Liga scorer of all time.
Rodrygo and Benzema almost scored again for the host as they looked to stretch their advantage after the break, but the Elche keeper Badia was on form to save them all.
But the fourth goal came eventually, when substitute Modric controlled in the box before superbly drilling into the top corner.
The Croatia midfielder has become the oldest player to score a goal in La Liga this season:
- Modrić: 37 years and 159 days
- Negredo: 37 years and 27 days
- Silva: 37 years
Bouncing back from Mallorca loss
Victory was crucial for Ancelotti’s side as they started to get back to the title race by gaining points by points.
Los Blancos are now unbeaten in their last 24 home league matches against Elche – winning 20 and drawing four – only enjoying a lengthier such streak against Las Palmas (34).
In a special night hitting the milestone, Benzema took his league tally this season to 11 goals, second only to Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski (14).
In-form Benzema has been involved in 15 goals in 14 games across all competitions (12 goals, three assists).
Key Opta Stats
– They have scored four or more goals in three consecutive games in all competitions for the first time since September 2015 under Rafael Benitez.
– They are the team with the most penalties taken in the top five European leagues this season (10), two more than any other side (Ajaccio and Atalanta – eight each).
– Asensio has scored two goals for his club in the last three games in the league, same as in his previous 16 in the competition.
– Benzema has converted his last five club penalties after missing four of his previous seven. This is the second time he has scored twice from the spot in a single game after also doing so against Celta last April.
– Elche (21 games played) are the only team with no clean sheets in the top five European leagues this season.
What’s next for Ancelotti’s side?
The manager’s side is back on the race to chase down Barcelona when they travel to Osasuna this weekend, with the momentum to probably win the rest of this season’s fixtures and take the table’s first place.