Benzema impact sums up great Real Madrid display, says Zidane

By Chris Myson 4 March 2017
Benzema impact sums up great Real Madrid display, says Zidane

Zinedine Zidane hailed Karim Benzema's impact against Eibar and felt the forward was part of an impressive all-round Real Madrid performance.

Madrid romped to a 4-1 away victory and were three goals up within 29 minutes despite being without Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Alvaro Morata while resting the likes of Marcelo and Toni Kroos as part of eight changes ahead of Tuesday's Champions League game at Napoli.

Benzema stepped up in the absence of the key attacking stars, scoring twice, assisting one for James Rodriguez and playing a part in the build-up for Marco Asensio's goal after the break.

Zidane felt Madrid had reacted in the ideal way after Wednesday's 3-3 home draw against Las Palmas.

"He was involved in all four goals," Zidane said of Benzema after the match.

"I am very happy with his performance, for his goals and for the other things he did in his build-up play.

"I am happy with the great game that he has had, but for the ball to get to him the rest of the players have to do well and they did.

"I am happy with the reaction. In a season, there are lots of different moments and a team can't always play well. But we have played very well here, with intensity. We came in with a high tempo and this is important.

"Real Madrid started very well, we scored three goals in half an hour. We knew that it would be a tough pitch to play on. We played a serious game, always respecting our opponent."

Zidane also praised Asensio, who scored Madrid's fourth goal to cap a strong individual performance on his first league start of 2017.

"Asensio had a great game," added the Madrid boss.

"It isn't easy to not play a lot and then need to play as if you have every three days. I believe that he is very happy with his goal and for the performance he has put in. He is happy to play with the team."

Madrid are two points clear of Barcelona at the top of the table ahead of their rivals' home match against Celta Vigo.

Zidane's men now turn their attention to the Napoli clash, which they lead 3-1 ahead of the away second leg of their last-16 tie.

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