Real Madrid are back in the place where they belong – winning matches consistently. The Los Blancos continued their resurgent form with a 3-1 win over 10-man Athletic Bilbao in La Liga on Tuesday.
Karim Benzema scored twice in the second half at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, lifting Madrid to a fourth straight victory in all competitions.
Zinedine Zidane’s men joined Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid on 26 points atop the table, but they struggled for large parts at home to Athletic.
Toni Kroos opened the scoring with a thunderous strike from outside the box, which was canceled by Ander Capa. Later on, Benzema ensured full points against a 10-men Bilbao following Raul Garcia’s red card.
Zinedine Zidane was extremely happy with Benzema and expressed his opinion after the match, which has been posted in Marca.
“For me, yes,” Zidane responded when asked if Benzema was France’s greatest ever forward.
“He shows it and he’s been at Real Madrid for a long time.”
“He has more than 500 games, and he’s scored goals. At the end of it all, his record speaks for itself.”
“For me, he’s the best. It’s clear.”
Benzema has enjoyed incredible form since Cristiano Ronaldo left in 2018, but the boss was quick to praise his work away from goal as well.
“He’s a more accomplished player now,” Zidane explained.
“He’s not a pure No.9. He doesn’t only think about goals and that’s why I love him.”
Zidane didn’t make many changes to his side, despite the packed calendar leading to expectations of rotations against Athletic.
“People will talk, whatever I do,” Zidane said.
“I have to do things and I think this had to be done.”
“Everyone wants to play and the most important thing is that we keep doing what we’re doing.”
“It’s going well and we’re happy with these three points.”
Los Blancos have struggled at times this season, but the coach isn’t overly concerned.
“You always suffer in LaLiga [Santander],” Zidane said.
“It’s true that we had more complications tonight, but we got three points.”
“We don’t have to talk about the game too much; the important thing was to win. We weren’t brilliant, but when you don’t play well you have to win.”