Benzema rises to the occasion for Madrid again to spare Zidane Europa League humiliation as he headed brace to end the group stage in styles.
Seriously even on a chilly night in the Spanish capital, Real Madrid did not freeze as they maintained their proud record of never having to failed to make it out of their UCL group.
Kudos to the skillful, brilliant Benzema whom at his lethal best saved the day with his brace.
With the return of Sergio Ramos, the 13-times champions’ defense was galvanized. That was seen as the flexed their muscles to blow away Borussia Monchengladbach.
Ramos leadership was keenly felt, and heard, as he marshalled and instructed the defense throughout, as Madrid kept only their second clean sheet of the group phase.
The Frenchman took care of things at the other end of the field. Benzema celebrated equaling Roberto Carlos’ record of 527 games for a non-Spanish player at Madrid.
Benzema sent his side ahead with a brilliant header from Lucas Vazquez’s cross in the ninth minute.
In as much as their was fears among their fans and media, the proud record was not in doubt on Wednesday night at the Alfredo di Stefano.
Until this point, it was a dismal group phase for the Blancos. We all thought Madrid will surfer the kind of early exits they suffered recently. Against Man City and Ajax in the last 16.
In Madrid’s 1-0 win over Sevilla last weekend, we saw signs of them getting back on the right path after a shaky start to the season, showing the kind of discipline and desire that propelled them to the Liga title last season.
This performance raised the bar further, with Zidane’s resurgent side not just defending well but looking confident and sure of themselves, trusting in one another, their prestige and their undoubted individual quality.