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Spanish La Liga

Benitez: Why I Took Benzema Off

Real Madrid fans were unhappy to see the back of Karim Benzema in their side's 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid on Sunday, but manager Rafael Benitez has now explained why he made the substitution. 

Read: Ronaldo Out Of Form As Real Draw Madrid Derby

The French striker, who was taken off in the 77th minute for Mateo Kovacic, scored Real's only goal of the game, and has been Los Blancos' go-to man in La Liga while Cristiano Ronaldo continues to struggle in front of goal.

Benzema has completed just one league match in five starts, and Benitez explained that the striker was taken off against Atletico to "freshen things up".

“He did well, but I substituted him because we needed to freshen things up on the wing," the manager said, according to FourFourTwo.

"With Gareth Bale's speed, we were able to play between different areas of the pitch, and with Cristiano Ronaldo up forward, we kept up our attacks.

"We balanced the team and maintained our attacking punch."

Real are currently second in the league table, tied with Celta Vigo and FC Barcelona on 15 points.

Read: Beckham Hopes Ronaldo Will Rejoin Man Utd

Benzema has scored six times in five La Liga matches this season, and twice in the UEFA Champions League.

Do you consider Benzema to be one of Europe's best strikers? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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