Real Madrid score half dozens as they sit in second position

La Liga

With Barcelona’s victory over Elche on Saturday, Real Madrid are now in second place and 12 points down of them with 11 games left. In a stunning pregame performance, Carlo Ancelotti’s team destroyed the helpless visitors, who were 16th and one point above the drop zone, in preparation for their Copa del Rey semifinal matchup with their arch-rivals on Wednesday.

The game started off with a goal from Rodrygo Goes, followed by goals from Benzema (including one that required some amazing acrobatics), Marco Asensio, and Lucas Vazquez. Marco Asensio added the fifth goal in the second half. As Madrid erupted in the springtime sun at the Santiago Bernabeu, the Brazilian had yet another goal disallowed for handball by Vinicius Junior, who assisted two of Benzema’s goals.

After 22 minutes, Rodrygo buried the opening goal after Asensio set him up. This started the scoring. After 29 minutes, Benzema scored the second goal thanks to a cross from Vinicius, and four minutes later, the Brazilian again found his French striking partner, who curled the ball home from the edge of the box.

At 36 minutes, Benzema scored his third goal of the game when Rodrygo crossed, and he expertly executed an overhead kick from the six-yard box for his 14th La Liga goal of the year. The 35-year-old passed Enes Unal of Getafe to overtake him as the division’s second-leading scorer, trailing only Robert Lewandowski of Barcelona (17 goals).

After replacing Benzema, Belgian winger Eden Hazard made his first league appearance since September as Madrid slowed down in the second half.

Asensio was set up by Rodrygo to score from close range, and Hazard set up Lucas Vazquez to complete the rout in toppage time.

As Madrid honed their teeth for the Clasico match midweek, Vinicius was likewise given a break. Los Blancos suddenly appear much more threatening after failing to test Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the 1-0 first-leg loss in March.

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