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Real Madrid 4-1 Valencia: 5 Talking Points as Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr run riot | La Liga 2021-22

Karim Benzema celebrates with Vinicius Jr.
Karim Benzema celebrates with Vinicius Jr.
Samyak Tripathi
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Real Madrid thrashed Valencia 4-1 on Saturday to open an eight-point gap over Sevilla, who have two games in hand.

Karim Benzema opened the scoring for the hosts by slotting into the roof of the net from the penalty spot on the cusp of half-time. Vinicius Jr extended Real Madrid's lead after combining well with Benzema before beating Jasper Cillessen.

Vinicius completed his brace by tucking in Marco Asensio's rebound. Valencia pulled one back when Goncalo Guedes scored off the rebound after his penalty was saved by Thibaut Courtois. Benzema, though, put the game to bed with an exquisite finish in the 88th minute.

On that note, here's a look at the five talking points from the game:


#5 Marco Asensio has a night to remember for Real Madrid

Marco Asensio in action against Valencia
Marco Asensio in action against Valencia

Marco Asensio is enjoying a great season. The Spaniard's recent run of performances has seen him move ahead of Rodrygo and Gareth Bale in Real Madrid's pecking order.

The Mallorcan combined beautifully with Lucas Vazquez and Luka Modric on the night. Asensio came close to scoring on numerous occasions, but was unable to convert his chances.

However, he was key to Real Madrid's third of the night, as Vinicius tapped in Asensio's rebound after the latter's initial shot was saved. Moreover, Asensio's defensive contribution was admirable.


#4 Los Blancos dominate midfield

Toni Kroos and Vinicius Junior (left) were impressive on the night.
Toni Kroos and Vinicius Junior (left) were impressive on the night.

Luka Modric, Casemiro and Toni Kroos were virtually unplayable on the night. The trio took charge down the centre, allowing Valencia no breathing space as Daniel Wass and Helder Costa were kept quiet.

Modric hit the woodwork before Real Madrid opened their account. Casemiro, meanwhile, wreaked havoc with his advanced runs and solid defending. The Brazilian also won the penalty for Real Madrid's opener.

Meanwhile Toni Kroos effortlessly orchestrated the game for the hosts.

#3 Valencia's forwards are nowhere to be seen

Goncalo Guedes looks dejected after Valencia's loss against Real Madrid.
Goncalo Guedes looks dejected after Valencia's loss against Real Madrid.

Maximiliano Gomez and Yunus Musah disappeared against Real Madrid. Both Valencia strikers had zero shots on target throughout the game. Eder Militao and David Alaba gave them no room to exploit.

The visitors were completely shut down the centre. The only option they had was to go through wider channels. Although Ferland Mendy and Lucas Vasquez were amazing for most of the game, the Frenchman conceded an avoidable penalty.


#2 Vinicius Jr makes a grand comeback for Real Madrid

Vinicius celebrates after scoring against Valencia after returning from a short layoff.
Vinicius celebrates after scoring against Valencia after returning from a short layoff.

Vinicius Jr missed quite a few games after testing positive for COVID-19. The Brazilian was sorely missed on the left. However, his performance on Saturday is a testament to his growing importance to Carlo Ancelotti's side.

Vinicius opened his account for the night following a beautiful sequence with Benzema. He completed his brace after pouncing on a rebound following a save off Asensio. The 21-year-old enjoyed his time on the pitch, dazzling down the left flank

He now has 12 league goals for the season, second behind his attacking partner in the La Liga scoring charts.

#1 Karim Benzema nets brace on a landmark night

Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring a goal..
Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring a goal..

Karim Benzema was back to his best against Valencia after a couple of sub-par performances.

The Frenchman scored a brace, the first of them being a landmark strike. Benzema became only the fourth player to score 300 goals for Real Madrid. He now has 22 for the season, including 17 in La Liga.

300 - Karim @Benzema πŸ‡«πŸ‡· has scored 300 goals in 584 appearances for @realmadriden in all competitions, becoming the fourth player to reach that milestone in club's history, after Cristiano Ronaldo πŸ‡΅πŸ‡Ή (450), RaΓΊl GonzΓ‘lez Blanco πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ (323) and Alfredo Di StΓ©fano πŸ‡¦πŸ‡·πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ (308). Olympus. https://t.co/pdXNzfh1Cc

Benzema oozed class throughout the game, with his combination plays with Vinicius and Asensio high up the pitch. The highlight of his performance was his sublime finish to grab his second and Madrid's fourth of the night.

The 34-year-old will look to continue his imperious form against Barcelona, whom the Spanish giants meet in the Spanish Super Cup midweek.

Edited by Bhargav
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