MADRID (AP) – Once again, Real Madrid has responded in times of crisis. And with a win, he sent a positive message to his COVID-19 infected technician.
The meringues scored three times on Saturday before going into halftime to head to a 4-1 win over Alavés, days before they were surprisingly eliminated in the Copa del Rey.
Karim Benzema scored a double with superb goals, first with a shot up from the edge of the area in the 41st minute and then on a counterattack that he defined with a cross shot down at 70.
“Today the goals came out and that is very good to have confidence for everyone, we are on the right track after a slightly tough week for us,” said the French striker.
The Brazilian midfielder Casemiro gave the merengue attack voice by opening the scoring with a header after a corner kick in the 15th minute and the Belgian Eden Hazard sealed a brilliant first half with his second target of the course in the discount before the break.
José Luis Mato “Joselu” cut for the hosts with a great header at 59.
Real Madrid showed a different face once again in an unfortunate moment. At midweek they fell 2-1 against Alcoyano of the Second B (third division), which set off alarms again around the irregular performance of the French Zinedine Zidane’s team due to the elimination in the Copa del Rey.
Before the meeting the bad news did not stop. Zidane was left isolated at home after testing positive for coronavirus, and his position on the bench was covered by his main assistant David Bettoni.
“He told me to congratulate the players, what he would do if he had been here,” said Bettoni of Zidane.
With this triumph in the field of Vitoria, the defending champion of the Spanish league consolidates in the second position with 40 units, four less than Atlético de Madrid, which plays its duel for the 20th match on Sunday against Valencia.
The win marred the celebration of the first centenary of the founding of Alavés (January 23, 1921). The “Babazorro” team could not repeat the story of the first round, in which they beat the meringues at home 2-1.
He was left with 18 units in 17th position.
The loss to Alcoyano rekindled criticism against Zidane, as it did a few weeks ago, when the team faced a potential elimination in the group stage of the Champions League.
Once again the Whites got off to a slow start, which they rebuilt when Casemiro scored his fourth goal by taking advantage of a poor mark from German Toni Kroos in the center.
Benzema ended a long fast of three dates without scoring, with a superb shot upstairs, in a good team play in which Marco Asensio and Hazard participated.
Hazard also took a step forward in the face of the crisis and scored his second goal of the tournament after the one he scored on October 31 against Huesca.
When Alavés pressed more for a second goal, Benzema turned off the reaction in a quick offensive in which he carried the ball into the area and made a cut before sentencing with a shot down to reach ten points in the championship.
Madrid faced this duel with a bunch of casualties, including those of captain Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Nacho Fernández, the Norwegian Martin Odegaard, the Brazilian Rodrygo Goes and the Uruguayan Federico Valverde.
BETIS SALVA AGÓNICO TIE AGAINST REAL SOCIEDAD
Veteran forward Joaquín Sánchez entered the substitution to save Real Betis from defeat.
The 39-year-old striker sent a shot from the heart of the area to the nets to invoice Betis’ 2-2 equalizer on his visit to Real Sociedad.
Joaquín entered at 78 ‘for the French Nabil Fekir and in the second minute of the replacement he achieved his first goal of the course.
Sergio Canales had cut back for the Albiverdes with a header shot in a counterattack at 85 ‘.
The txuri-urdin team was unable to maintain the lead they achieved with goals from Swede Alexander Isak at 48 minutes and Mikel Oyarzabal at 57.
The Real Sociedad extended its irregular passage in the league with the third date without victory and remained in the 6th position with 31 units.
Betis, led by Chilean Manuel Pellegrini, is eighth with 27.
EN-NESYRI IS A LEADING SCORER
Moroccan striker Youssef En-Nesyri celebrated his second hat-trick of the campaign, with which Sevilla beat Cádiz 3-0.
En-Nesyri showed his efficiency with targets at 35, 39 and 62 minutes for the second consecutive victory for the Sevillian team, which climbed to third position with 36 points.
Thanks to his brilliant performance, the Moroccan striker claimed the lead in the scorers’ table by reaching 12 goals, one more than the Argentine star Lionel Messi and the Uruguayan Luis Suárez have. This campaign he had already signed a triplet on the 18th match against Real Sociedad.
Cádiz loses momentum after suffering its eighth setback and staying in 9th position with 24 points.
In the early hours Villarreal signed a goalless equalizer on their visit to Huesca.
The “Yellow Submarine” is 5th with 34 units, Huesca is bottom with 13.