Karim Benzema scored two goals and created another as Real Madrid beat Celta Vigo 3-1 on Saturday to go second in La Liga ahead of Barcelona and put more pressure on leaders Atletico Madrid.
Benzema opened the scoring with a cool finish from just inside the box after Toni Kroos had unlocked the Celta defence. The French striker then went close to creating a second, firing in a cross that bounced off Vinicius Junior’s chest and over the bar, before scoring again himself. Again, Kroos was the provider, after winning the ball back in a dangerous position.
Celta pulled a goal back through Santi Mina’s header, and went on to improve after half-time, Iago Aspas forcing a save from Thibaut Courtois. Benzema saw a late shot saved after Nestor Araujo gifted him the ball, and then Aspas hit the post with a free kick, before substitute Marco Asensio ended the contest in stoppage time.
Benzema is in the form of his life, with eight goals in his past six games in all competitions, and 17 for this La Liga season. Madridistas will be hoping Benzema’s run continues beyond the international break and into a week that will see the team face both Barcelona and Liverpool in quick succession.
Madrid’s last loss at Balaidos saw them say goodbye to their title hopes in 2014, leaving Barca and Atletico to battle it out. Benzema’s early brace put to bed any real worries of a similar result here.