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Real Madrid sensation Karim Benzema received a standing ovation from rival fans during his side’s 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday.
The Frenchman stunned the opposition just three minutes into the match when his spectacular first-time strike from the edge of the box curled beyond the keeper.
Benzema showed his class yet again by scoring another four minutes later courtesy of an Eden Hazard assist as Madrid were able to fend off a Bilbao comeback.
And the 34-year-old’s brilliance was there for all to recognise, with even the home crowd standing up to applaud a remarkable display by one of Europe’s top strikers.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti was full of praise for his captain after the final whistle while acknowledging the “fantastic” response by the Bilbao fans.
He said: “That was fantastic.This is a stadium with a spectacular atmosphere. It’s a true football stadium and Karim deserved that [ovation].”
The win takes Los Blancos eight points clear of second placed side Sevilla atop of La Liga.
Benzema has had a huge part to play in Madrid’s dominance this season, scoring a phenomenal 15 goals in 18 league matches.
Do you think Benzema is currently the best striker in Europe? Let us know in the comments section.
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His two goals on the night makes him the third highest goal-scorer across Europe’s top-five leagues this year, behind Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland.
Speaking in his post-match interview, Benzema was quick to praise his team-mates.
He said: “I like to play games like these in a great stadium like this.
“It makes me happy but more than anything I’m proud of my team’s performance.
“We worked hard and we know it’s very tough to win here at San Mames.
“We know that we suffered and that is what happens when you’re a big team, you have to suffer at times.
“It is a very good goal and it’s very important, so I’m very happy for the team.”
- Real Madrid FC
- Athletic Bilbao FC
- La Liga
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