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Benzema's Brace Move Real Two Points Behind Barca

LaLiga

Result: Real Madrid 3-0 Valencia

Date: 18 June 2020

Venue: Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano

Karim Benzema's impressive brace inspired Real Madrid to a 3-0 victory over Valencia to move within two points of LaLiga leaders FC Barcelona.

Zinedine Zidane made two changes from Sunday's win over Eibar as as Federico Valverde and Ferland Mendy returned to the line-up in place of Rodrygo and Marcelo.

Los Blancos could have been ahead after 11 minutes when Benzema slipped in Eden Hazard, who was denied by goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen in a one-on-one situation.

Valencia went even closer minutes later when Rodrigo latched onto Maxi Gomez's through ball before seeing his low strike tipped onto the upright thanks to the slightest touch from Thibaut Courtois.

Rodrigo thought he had handed Valencia the lead on 20 minutes when he fired home from close range, but after a review on the Video Assistant Referee monitor, the referee disallowed the goal for offside.

The hosts continued to dominate possession in the first half but other than Dani Carvajal's shot on 30 minutes, Zidane's men failed to carve out another clear-cut opening.

After a quiet start to the second half, Los Blancos eventually broke the deadlock on the hour mark as Hazard teed up Benzema, who calmly slotted into the bottom corner.

Zidane went for a more attacking approach with 20 minutes remaining, as Marco Asensio made his first appearance of the season at the expense of Valverde.

The change did the trick as Asensio doubled Los Blancos' lead with his first touch after volleying home a cross from Mendy just seconds after coming on.

Benzema had the final say with four minutes left on the clock as the Frenchman completed his brace with a superb left-footed volley that left Cillessen with no chance to round off an impressive second half.

Valencia did finish the game with 10 men after second-half substitute Kang-In Lee was shown a straight red card for kicking out at Sergio Ramos.

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