BARCELONA, Spain (AP) – Karim Benzema proudly presented the Ballon d’O trophy to fans at the Santiago Bernabeu and sat down as Real Madrid beat Sevilla 3-1 to take the Spanish league lead on Saturday. added
Benzema was ruled out of the game after the club said he had muscle fatigue. It seems that the strikers, whoWon prestigious football individual awardOn Monday, he is very careful to avoid any risk of injury that could jeopardize his participation with France.world cupStarting in Qatar less than a month later.
Vincenzo Jr. scored twice for Madrid as the Brazilian winger continues to excel with and without Benzema in his side.
Madrid extended their unbeaten streak to 16 games since the start of the season in all competitions and went six points clear at the top of the table against Barcelona, who play Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.
Luka Modric and former Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, both former Ballon d’Or winners, presented Benzema with his award in a ceremony before kick-off. The Madrid striker raised the bar high to receive a standing ovation from the fans for the celebration and match in the Spanish capital amid persistent rain.
Modric then continued to make sure Madrid didn’t miss out on Benzema’s goals, scoring from an assist from Vencius to give Madrid the lead five minutes into the game. Vincenzo pounced on a poor pass from Gonzalo Montel near Sevilla’s own area, tackled the defenders left behind, and found Modric at the far post just to tap in.
While Vinicius wasted an opportunity to add to the lead in the 44th – when he tried to shoot from point-blank range instead of beating goalkeeper Yassin Buono – Sevilla were left with midfielder Isco Alarcon’s “false nine”. was the pioneer.
Sevilla had their share of possession but no striker in the box to feed. In the 45th Jesús Navas made the first save from Thibaut Courtois, who returned after missing six games due to sciatica.
However, Jorge Sampaoli’s plan started to click in the second half as Sevilla’s large number of midfielders, including Lever Torres and Ivan Rakitic, and playmakers like Isco took control for half an hour.
Montel made up for his mistake by winning possession and using the outside of his boot to slip the ball through Madrid’s well-positioned defensive line to meet Erik Lamela’s fine run. Lamela also showed his skill by sending the ball around Courtois from a tight angle with the tip of his boot to equalize in the 54th.
Isco then hit the side netting and Montel set up Lamela for him to curl the ball just wide in the 60th.
But Carlo Ancelotti sent fresh legs into attack and a counter-attack by substitute Marco Asensio led to Vencius drawing in Bono before he fired into an empty net in the 79th for substitute Luis Vazquez.
Federico Valverde added a third from long range two minutes later to put the result beyond doubt with the midfielder’s seventh goal in all competitions this campaign.