Karim Benzema scores a hat-trick as Real Madrid win but Vinicius Junior is injured. football news
Karim Benzema’s first-half hat-trick earned Real Madrid a 4-2 win at Almería and a Spanish league win on Saturday saw them lose Vinicius Junior. He asked to be substituted several minutes later after Vinicius Jr appeared to be banging his knee following a knock on with the defender. Fellow Brazil forward Rodrigo also finished the game on the bench with an ice pack on his left knee.
Madrid are already concerned about Luka Modric’s recovery from a thigh injury as their most important game of the season looms.
Madrid have one more Liga game at Real Sociedad before playing next weekend’s Copa del Rey final against Osasuna in Seville. Three days later, Madrid began their Champions League semi-final rematch from the previous season with Manchester City on 9 May.
At least their France striker is refining his scoring touch.
An easy win over Almeria ensured Madrid remained second in La Liga, but Barcelona were still eight points ahead ahead of hosting Real Betis late on Saturday.
More importantly for Madrid, its players showed the ambition they lacked in a 4-2 defeat at Girona midweek. Because of that defeat, coach Carlo Ancelotti admitted that his team lacked motivation for the Liga games.
Benzema’s treble took him to 17 goals in the league, only one less than Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski.
Benzema tapped in the fifth-minute opener at the Santiago Bernabeu after Vinicius dribbled past Houboulang Mendes and used the outside of his right boot to square the ball.
Rodrigo, who also scored Madrid’s fourth goal from long range just after half-time, set up another assist for Benzema after a daring dribbling move. With Almeria’s Samu Costa wrapped around his back, Rodrigo curled the ball with the back of his boot and slotted it past the defender. He rounded Costa to take his dribble and found Benzema to score in the 17th.
Benzema’s third came from the spot kick in the 42nd after Largi Ramazani fouled Lucas Váquez.
However, Ancelotti may have some concerns about his defence, as Lazzaro scored in injury time in the first half and Lucas Roberto followed up Rodrygo’s goal.
Madrid substitute Marco Asensio twice hit the woodwork in the final minutes.
Vinicius and Eduardo Camavinga will both miss Tuesday’s game against fourth-place Real Sociedad after earning one-game suspensions for accumulating five yellow cards.
Almería was left in 15th place and two points above the relegation zone.
Its very late
Elche beat Rayo Vallecano 4–0 to record their biggest win of an otherwise painful season. The last placed side were still 16 points away from safety.
The text of this story is published from a wire agency feed without any modification.