Benzema brace powers Real Madrid

Karim Benzema (left) celebrates with Luka Modric after scoring against Real Valladolid in the La Liga on Sunday. AFP

Real Madrid ended a three-game losing streak by winning 4-1 at Real Valladolid in a chaotic game on Sunday in which the hosts had two goals ruled out, missed a penalty and hit the woodwork while the visitors had Casemiro sent off late on.

Karim Benzema scored twice after the interval with a penalty and a header from a corner to give Santiago Solari's side a 3-1 lead, after Raphael Varane struck in the 34th minute to cancel out Anuar Tuhami's goal for Valladolid five minutes earlier.

Ballon d'Or winner Luka Modric then showed his class to stretch Madrid's lead in the 85th after Casemiro was dismissed for earning two bookings.

Modric's goal completed a highly entertaining and eventful match at the Jose Zorilla stadium, which experienced a power cut before kick off, although the game began on schedule.

The victory is unlikely to extend Argentine Solari's stay, with reports in Spanish media predicting he will be sacked soon having only taken the reins permanently in mid-November after succeeding Julen Lopetegui, who was sacked in October.

Sunday's win took Madrid to 49 points and they are 12 adrift of leaders Barca and five behind second-placed Atletico Madrid.

Real had a total of six players unavailable for this game including Gareth Bale, Vinicius Jr, Lucas Vazquez, Dani Carvajal and captain Sergio Ramos, but Solari still left Spain international Isco out of his matchday squad.

Valladolid made a determined start and were awarded a penalty when Oscar Plano's shirt was tugged by Alvaro Odriozola, but Ruben Alcaraz blazed over the bar from the spot -- the fifth penalty in a row his side have squandered this season.

Valladolid forward Sergi Guardiola then had two efforts ruled out for offside in the space of two minutes after Video Assistant Referee (VAR) reviews.

However, the striker played a big part in Valladolid finally taking the lead, sliding to meet a cross at the far post and rolling the ball towards Anuar who tapped in from close range.

Madrid levelled thanks to some sloppy goalkeeping from Valladolid's former Barcelona goalkeeper Jordi Masip, who lost an aerial contest with Nacho, and Varane calmly knocked the loose ball over the line into the net with his studs.

The goal killed Valladolid's momentum and while Madrid did not sparkle in the second half, their superior quality shone through with Benzema's double and Modric's classy finish.

"This victory does not make up for the week we have had, this club obliges you to win every game and we try to defend this badge every day," said Real defender Nacho.

"It's difficult because things are not going well for us, but Solari is our coach and we have to be behind him."

 

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Benzema brace powers Real Madrid

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