The brouhaha about the European Super League still exists and in between the backlash and varied opinions from every corner of the globe the midweek, football is active because the show must go on. It was time for Real Madrid to face Cadiz after the dull draw a few days back and this time around there was no shock, rather, a dominating victory.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) April 21, 2021
Cadiz managed to sneak away with all three points last time out after recording a 1-0 at Valdebebas, and with player and staff focus more than likely belonging elsewhere recently, this important game could prove to be just as tricky.
Zinedine Zidane pulled out a surprise in his starting XI with the inclusion of 20-year-old Antonio Blanco, who made his first-team debut over the weekend at Getafe and started in a depleted midfield missing Toni Kroos and Luka Modric. Meanwhile, in attack, both Isco and Marco Asensio were left on the bench, with Zidane opting for a trio of Benzema, Vinicius and Rodrygo.
Despite a cagey start the Los Blancos settled quickly and foot the foot on the right paddle – they looked sharper enough.
📊| Karim Benzema vs Cadiz:
• 73 minutes played
• 47 touches
• 2 big chances created
• 3 long balls completed
• 1 assist
• 2 goals
— Madrid Zone (@theMadridZone) April 21, 2021
Just shy of the half-hour mark, VAR stepped in to alert referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz of a possible penalty and the spot-kick was quickly given when he saw that Iza had stepped on the foot of Vinicius, fouling the young Brazilian inside the area.
Karim Benzema was tasked with penalty duties and slammed his attempt past Cadiz goalkeeper Jeremias Ledesma.
The goal was a big lift for Real Madrid and, just a few minutes later, a cross on a silver platter from Benzema found Odriozola at the back post and allowed the right-back to thump a header in to double the advantage.
Odriozola doubles the Madrid lead! 👏
After dropping points at the weekend, Zidane's side are on track for a victory in this must-win match against Cadiz ⚪ pic.twitter.com/KtmT0o34kT
— Premier Sports 📺 (@PremierSportsTV) April 21, 2021
It should have been three shortly thereafter, with Benzema once again playing the role of playmaker, but an under-pressure Casemiro missed over the crossbar after receiving the headed pass.
Those same two players would link up again, except this time it was Casemiro serving up the pass and Benzema showed him how it’s done with a strong header into the net to extend the lead to 3-0.
Karim Benzema wrote himself into Real Madrid history with two goals against Cadiz on Wednesday night.
📊| Karim Benzema has reached 20 goals for the 3rd consecutive season in La Liga (21 goals in 20/21), becoming the 3rd Real Madrid player to achieve it this century after Cristiano Ronaldo (9 campaigns) and Ronaldo Nazário (3).🇫🇷@OptaJose pic.twitter.com/hx4gOmbFCn
— Madrid Xtra. (@MadridXtra) April 21, 2021
The Frenchman scored against his 35th different team in LaLiga Santander, which equals Raul as the most opponents scored against for Real Madrid. Not even Cristiano Ronaldo reached this milestone.
What’s more, Benzema has now scored at least one goal in nine successive appearances in LaLiga Santander, netting 11 in the process.
His goals have contributed to a 12-match unbeaten run for Real Madrid in LaLiga Santander, as they now sit top of the table.
— Karim Benzema (@Benzema) April 21, 2021
Real Madrid easily saw things out the rest of the way to collect the three points and put pressure on Atletico Madrid.
“The important thing for us is to be up for it and know how to defend,” Zidane said at full time.
“We defended really well again. For me, that’s key.”
“I’m happy with what he’s doing, not only with his goals,” Zidane said about Benzema.
“I’m happy with what he’s doing, we’re enjoying him and we hope we can enjoy him for a lot longer.”