Benzema scores first-half hat-trick in Madrid rout


Benzema (2L) shoots the ball during the Spanish league football match between Real Madrid CF and Real Valladolid FC at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on April 2, 2023.

Karim Benzema scored a first-half hat-trick in the space of seven minutes as Real Madrid hammered Real Valladolid.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side are 12 points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona.

Rodrygo slotted Madrid’s opener into the bottom corner from Marco Asensio’s ball before Benzema headed in Vinicius Jr’s excellent cross.

The Frenchman curled in his second Pp another Vinicius pass and then scored a close-range overhead kick – with Asensio and Lucas Vazquez also netting.

IPpt was the fastest Madrid hat-trick in a La Liga game since Fernando Hierro’s three goals in six minutes in a 7-0 win over Espanyol in April 1992.

Rodrygo, who set up Benzema’s third goal and Asensio’s strike, had another finish ruled out by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) for a Vinicius handball and struck the woodwork too.

Valladolid, who are just one point above the relegation zone, hit the post in each half through Roque Mesa and Kike Perez.

It was a morale-boosting win for Madrid, who are practically out of the title race, but face Barca on Wednesday in the Copa del Rey semi-final second leg.

Boss Ancelotti was able to bring off key players including Benzema and Vinicius and introduce some players who have barely played recently including Eden Hazard.

The Belgian, making his first La Liga appearance since September, set up Vazquez’s injury-time goal.

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