MADRID: Karim Benzema shrugged off his World Cup misery with two late goals that powered Real Madrid to thump Valladolid 2-0 on Friday to take over the top spot in LaLiga standings.
Ballon d’Or winner Benzema was initially named in the French squad for the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar but an untimely thigh injury amid training forced the striker to withdraw hours before the commencement of the opening game.
Benzema then decided to hang his boots from international football, following the conclusion of the mega event in which France endured a frustrating defeat in the final against Lionel Messi’s Argentina.
In his first La Liga fixture after the World Cup however, the French striker scored his first goal in the competition since October 19 when Real Madrid defeated Elche.
However, it took him 83 minutes to score his first goal of the game, which came from a penalty that was granted after Javi Sanchez was fouled for handball.
Benzema then soon made it double when he scored from a pass by French compatriot Eduardo Camavinga to add further to the misery of 10-men Valladolid, courtesy of a red card for Sergio Leon.
Following the victory, Real Madrid claimed the top spot in the league’s standings one point clear of second-placed Barcelona, who, however, can reclaim the top position on Saturday when they take on city rivals Espanyol.
Meanwhile, the other two La Liga fixtures between Sevilla and Celta Vigo and Almeria versus Cadiz ended in a one-all draw.
The action-filled matches of LaLiga 2022-23 are being telecasted live on Pakistan’s first HD Sports channel – A Sports and are simultaneously streamed on the digital platform of ARY Digital Network – ARY ZAP in crystal clear HD quality.