Benzema is the best – Zidane hails striker after Madrid brace

By Dejan Kalinic 16 December 2020 37
Benzema is the best – Zidane hails striker after Madrid brace

Zinedine Zidane hailed Karim Benzema after the striker helped Real Madrid past Athletic Bilbao in LaLiga on Tuesday.

Benzema scored a late brace as Madrid beat Athletic 3-1, moving them level on points with Real Sociedad and Atletico atop the table.

The Frenchman took his tally to 10 goals in all competitions this season – more than any other LaLiga player.

Zidane praised the striker, saying Benzema's ability to deliver even when having a quieter game was impressive.

"For me he is the best because without playing a great game [against Athletic] he has scored two goals," the Madrid head coach said, via AS.

"He always appears. They are the great players."

Toni Kroos had given Madrid the lead at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, where Athletic were reduced to 10 men in just the 13th minute following Raul Garcia's red card.

But Ander Capa drew the visitors level and Madrid struggled to create clear-cut chances before Benzema delivered late.

Benzema has been involved in 18 goals in 22 LaLiga games against Athletic, scoring 13 times and providing five assists.

Zidane admitted Madrid were below their best, feeling his side pushed too hard against 10 men.

"It is true that we suffered. When you play 11 against 10, if you interpret the game well you can have it easier, but it has been the other way around. We were too hasty," he said.

"When they lose a player, you say, 'I'm going to score the goal in 15 minutes'. And you had to be patient.

"After the fourth game in 10 days, there are three points and you have to be very happy."

Madrid will look to extend their four-match winning streak when they visit Eibar on Sunday.

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Dejan Kalinic