Real Madrid warm up for Copa Clasico by thrashing Valladolid

Karim Benzema scored a first-half hat trick as Real Madrid dismantled Real Valladolid 6-0 in LaLiga on Sunday on the Santiago Bernabeu.

Rodrygo broke the impasse after 20 minutes with end from inside the realm earlier than Benzema took centre stage. The Frenchman’s first objective got here after good work from Vinicius Junior, the second was a sensible effort from the sting of the field, and he accomplished a seven-minute treble with an acrobatic end to show residence Rodrygo’s cross.

Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez accomplished the rout late on for Madrid, who stay 12 factors behind league leaders Barcelona (who gained at Elche on Sunday) though the win does give them a well timed enhance going into Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semifinal Clasico at Camp Nou (stream LIVE at 2:55 p.m. ET on ESPN+ within the U.S..)

Rapid response

1. LaLiga maintaining Madrid sharp for cup challenges

Madrid’s loss to Barca earlier than the worldwide break all however ended the title race in Spain and left questions on how Carlo Ancelotti’s facet would strategy the run-in in LaLiga, even when the Italian coach insisted they’d battle till the top. Against Valladolid, that proved true.

While hauling Barca in might not be a chance, Madrid produce other causes to remain sharp. They journey to their Clasico rivals on Wednesday for the second leg of the Copa del Rey semifinal trailing 1-0 from the primary leg. They even have Chelsea to come back within the quarterfinal of the Champions League.

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Ancelotti, subsequently, could have been delighted to see his attackers in high quality fettle. Rodrygo took his objective rather well, ending a 16-game drought in LaLiga, earlier than setting up Benzema for his hat-trick objective and Asensio for the fifth. The Brazilian additionally hit the publish and had a second strike disallowed for an earlier handball by Vinicius, who, regardless of not scoring, impressed once more as he set up two of Benzema’s objectives.

There was even time to offer Eden Hazard some minutes. The Belgian had not performed for Madrid since Jan. 3 within the Copa del Rey — and since Sept. 11 in LaLiga — however he changed Benzema within the second half and laid on the ultimate objective for Vazquez in stoppage time.

2. Benzema peaking on the proper time

In some ways, given the requirements he has set all through his profession at Madrid, particularly since Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure, it has been a low-key marketing campaign for Benzema, who has struggled with accidents and type. However, there are some indicators he’s now creeping into his finest type forward of the ultimate stretch of the season — which is not going to have gone unnoticed at Barca or Chelsea.

All three of his objectives right here had been good. The first was a stooping header on the far publish after an ideal cross from Vinicius. He then glided throughout the sting of the field earlier than producing an immaculate end into the highest nook from 18 yards. His third was maybe the choose of the three, an overhead kick from shut vary which arrived simply six minutes and 30 second after his first objective.

It takes his tally to 22 for the season, making him the primary participant to attain greater than 20 objectives in 11 completely different seasons for Madrid. Sixteen of these objectives have come because the World Cup — solely Erling Haaland and Marcus Rashford have scored extra in that point (each 19).

3. Valladolid minds elsewhere as soon as they went behind

Valladolid really began nicely on the Bernabeu and will have taken the lead when Roque Mesa struck the woodwork early on. There had been even indicators of some discontent among the many residence followers because the guests appeared to trigger a significant upset. Once Rodrygo struck, although, they misplaced their method.

As good as Benzema’s three objectives had been, the defending was simply as dangerous. The Frenchman dummied two defenders far too simply for his second objective and managed to clinch his hat trick from shut vary regardless of having a Valladolid participant on both facet of him. It meant that the second half was little greater than a coaching sport.

Pacheta’s facet should have been serious about subsequent weekend once they host Mallorca in a extra winnable match. They want three factors. This defeat leaves them within the thick of the relegation battle, only one level away from the underside three with 11 video games to go.

Best and worst performers


Karim Benzema, Real Madrid: It was not simply the truth that he scored a hat trick however the high quality of all three objectives.

Rodrygo, Real Madrid: Scored one, set up two and on one other day would have scored and created extra.

Vinicius Junior, Real Madrid: Edges out Asensio for the truth that he frightened the life out of Valladolid each time he acquired on the ball.


Ivan Fresneda, Real Valladolid: One of probably the most extremely rated right-backs in LaLiga however Vinicius confirmed he nonetheless has rather a lot to work on.

Jawad El Yamiq, Real Valladolid: Never acquired a grip on when or the place Benzema was going to pop up and defended with a scarcity of depth.

Joaquin Fernandez, Real Valladolid: Like Yamiq, his efficiency was method beneath his normal requirements, whatever the opposition.

Highlights and notable moments

Rodrygo opened the scoring for Madrid by rounding a high quality transfer from again to entrance fromt he residence facet.

But then Benzema went into overdrive, scoring a first-half hat trick that took seven minutes from begin to end. His second was a fierce strike from the sting of the realm.

After the match: What the gamers/managers mentioned

Postmatch quotes will seem right here…

Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Information)

Rodrygo ended a streak of 16 video games with out scoring in LaLiga, the third longest of his profession. His longest barren run lasted 26 video games between 2021 and 2022.

The opening objective was additionally Rodrygo’s first because the FIFA Club World Cup semifinal on Feb. 8, ending a run of 10 video games with out a objective with membership and nation.

Karim Benzema’s first objectives, Madrid’s second, was the primary header he has scored for all of them season (16 off the correct foot, 4 off the left.)

Benzema scored the quickest hat trick by a Real Madrid participant since Cristiano Ronaldo scored his third objective in opposition to Espanyol in in September 2015 at 19 minutes, 28 seconds. Benzema scored his third in opposition to Valladolid at 35:08.

This was Benzema’s fourth profession hat trick in LaLiga, making him the eightieth participant to attain 4 or extra hat tips within the Spanish prime flight. In 880 senior profession matches for Lyon, Madrid and France, he has by no means scored 4 objectives in a single match.

Benzema is now one objective away from levelling Real Madrid nice Hugo Sanchez’s haul of 234 LaLiga objectives to go joint-fourth within the league’s all-time objective charts.

Eden Hazard made his first LaLiga look since Sept. 11, 2022, 204 days in the past. This was simply his fifth LaLiga sport performed within the 2022-23 season, and he has not scored within the league since May 2021.

Up subsequent

Real Madrid: It’s the ultimate Clasico of the season on Wednesday, when Madrid journey to Barcelona for the second leg of their Copa del Rey semifinal (stream LIVE at 2:55 p.m. ET on ESPN+ within the U.S.,) earlier than they host Villarreal in LaLiga on Saturday.

Real Valladolid: The battle in opposition to relegation continues with the go to of Mallorca to the Estadio JJose Zorrilla subsequent Sunday, earlier than Valladolid journey to Villarreal on April 15.

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