Girona 1 - 4 Real Madrid: Benzema brace as Real Madrid continue winning ways

Posted Monday, August 27, 2018 by PA

Girona 1 - 4 Real Madrid: Benzema brace as Real Madrid continue winning ways

Real Madrid came from behind to see off Girona and continue their winning start to the season, Karim Benzema grabbing a second-half brace in a 4-1 scoreline.

Girona had been surprise winners in the same fixture last term but despite threatening a repeat when Borja Garcia opened the scoring, they could not contain Julen Lopetegui’s side at the Montilivi.

Penalties either side of half-time – a Panenka-style effort from Sergio Ramos and a clinical strike from Benzema – shifted the momentum before Gareth Bale made it two in two LaLiga games since Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure.

Girona 1 - 4 Real Madrid: Benzema brace as Real Madrid continue winning ways
Karim Benzema netted twice for Real Madrid at Girona (Peter Byrne/PA)

Benzema popped up again late on to add the gloss and ensure Real matched Barcelona’s six-point haul.

Once again Keylor Navas kept summer signing Thibaut Courtois on the bench, a foreboding replacements list which also included World Cup winner Raphael Varane and player of the tournament Luka Modric.

Girona were lively from the first whistle, pressing high and attacking the flanks, but almost shipped an eighth minute opener.

Benzema successfully tucked the ball past Bono but did so from an offside position, with the linesman’s flag upheld by VAR.

Isco was next to go close, winning possession and exchanging passes with Marco Asensio before slotting wide from a good position.

The script was quickly flipped after 17 minutes when Anthony Lozano raced clear in the right-hand channel, shrugging off the attention of three white shirts.

His shot was blocked by Nacho but only rebounded as far as Garcia, who dipped his shoulder to deceive both Casemiro and Navas before picking out the top corner.

The goal was received uproariously by the 14,000 fans in the stadium, who can hardly have expected to see a second any time soon.

As it was Girona will be wondering how they did not double up in swift fashion. Lozano was again in the thick of things and when Portu fired across goal Real, and Navas, needed a smart goalline clearance from Dani Carvajal.

Pere Pons had two bites at the loose ball but failed to hit the target with either.

The advantage was surrendered before the break, David Timor guilty of a needless penalty box foul on Asensio when he was not in a position to threaten.

Ramos stepped up, as he had in the Super Cup defeat to Atletico Madrid, stuttering in the run-up and clipping brazenly down the middle as Bono dived.

Having given up their lead in soft fashion, Girona gifted Lopetegui’s men the whip hand within seven minutes of the restart.

Pons was guilty this time, robbed in his own area by Asensio before hacking him down in a petulant reaction. Ramos allowed Benzema the honours this time and the striker neatly buried his effort.

Just before the hour Real finally netted from open play, Navas feeding Isco, who spotted Bale’s run and issued a perfectly-weighted pass. Having won the race with Marc Muniesa, Bale finished with certainty.

The Welshman played provider for the fourth, crossing from the right and allowing Benzema to gather, turn and finish from close range.

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