Goals… and little else

The matches go through Benzema, but Karim does not go through the matches. The derby once again offered a skimmed version of the French. The cold statistics offer a lethal Benzema, with 18 goals in 24 games, but that synthetic portrait does not match what the Frenchman’s eyes see. Benzema’s vaporous performance against Atlético did not remain sensational. Eleven field players (the other nine starters plus Camavinga and Modric) took part in more actions than Karim, who was barely able to participate in 29. To get an idea, Benzema averages more than 50 interventions per game…

Those 18 goals also have several asterisks. The first, in the League. Since the World Cup, when in theory he has fully recovered from the injury that weighed him down in October and November and prevented him from competing in Qatar, of his six league goals… four were penalties. Two against Elche (4-0), another in Valladolid (0-2) and the one that was of no use to the team at La Cerámica (2-1). In total, a third (six) of his goals this season have come from eleven meters.

Karim, at a time of the 1-1 against Atlético.


Karim, at a time of the 1-1 against Atlético.Europe Press SportsGetty

The other strange aspect is the null presence of KB9 in the Champions League to Anfield. In Liverpool, Vinicius catapulted him to a double, but the lion from Lyon closed the group stage (six games, two of them absent due to injury) without opening his target box. More than striking when last year was the killer of the competition, with 15 goals. He has ceded the role of Madrid’s European driving force to Vinicius.

A ball to the third amphitheater

But what is most striking is the apparent fatigue displayed by their usually elegant football. Against Atleti he only managed to send Oblak’s goal one of his four shots and one of those missed was a volley in the 17th minute that ended in third amphitheatre. An action that was buried among everything else that happened in the derby but that illustrates part of the problem with the Frenchman. keeps part of punchbut it costs more.

“The derby was not easy for Karim. We lacked mental freshness and it will reach the last third quickly”

Ancelotti, after the derby

Asked if Benzema is going through a valley in his performance, Ancelotti threw a cape at him, resorting to the fatigue of other lines and the Frenchman’s Excel. “Today (for yesterday) It has been a difficult game for him. In general, we lacked a bit of mental freshness and got to the last third faster. In this stretch of the season he is doing very well. After the World Cup he has scored a lot… and important goals”.

Benzema’s physical appearance is under the microscope and more so when he has been seen limping in several games due to different blows. In the derby, without going any further, he limped for five minutes due to a clash with Pablo Barrios. But It is the intermittent ailments (seven, more in number than the injuries suffered in the three previous seasons) that are precarious and without the rhythm of before. Benzema continues to have his Nureyev steps, there is that recent goal in San Mamés, but his ballet football has temporarily lost the pirouettes that led him to the Ballon d’Or.

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