Karim Benzema scored his 300th Real Madrid goal and Vinicius Junior hit a brace as Carlo Ancelotti’s side beat Valencia 4-1 to open an eight-point lead at the summit of LaLiga.
Los Blancos suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Getafe last weekend, but a second consecutive loss never looked likely after Benzema’s landmark goal from the penalty spot shortly before the interval.
Vinicius scored twice in the second half and Benzema rounded things off late on as the hosts secured a third consecutive win over Jose Bordalas’ men with minimum fuss, despite Goncalo Guedes’s goal.
The win increased Madrid’s lead over second-placed Sevilla, although Julen Lopetegui’s side have two games in hand, while Valencia remained ninth.
300 – Karim @Benzema has scored 300 goals in 584 appearances for @realmadriden in all competitions, becoming the fourth player to reach that milestone in club’s history, after Cristiano Ronaldo (450), Raúl González Blanco (323) and Alfredo Di Stéfano (308). Olympus. pic.twitter.com/pdXNzfh1Cc
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 8, 2022
Eder Militao, Marco Asensio and Benzema went close before Luka Modric crashed a left-footed effort against the crossbar from 15 yards as Madrid dominated.
Their pressure eventually told two minutes before the interval when Benzema rifled into the top corner from 12 yards after Casemiro had been brought down inside the area by Omar Alderete.
Madrid picked up where they left off after the restart, Vinicius doubling their advantage from close range in the 52nd minute after fortuitously bundling through a crowd of defenders.
The Brazil international grabbed a third after 61 minutes, nodding in from almost on the line after Jasper Cillessen had parried Asensio’s powerful strike.
Valencia scored a consolation 15 minutes later, Guedes heading home after Thibaut Courtois had saved his initial penalty, which was given for a foul on Marcos Andre by Ferland Mendy.
Benzema rounded off his memorable game late on, spinning and firing in off the post from 12 yards as Madrid got their title charge back on track in style.
What does it mean? Ruthless Madrid extend unbeaten home run
Madrid’s tally of 23 shots and 67.1 per cent possession tells the story of their commanding win, which saw them stretch their unbeaten run at home in LaLiga to 27 games (W22, D5).
The only blot on their copybook was Guedes’ goal. It was the first they had conceded in 424 minutes at the Santiago Bernabeu, ending their best league run without conceding at home under the guidance of Carlo Ancelotti.
The France international scored his 300th and 301st goals for the club in all competitions in his 584th appearance, becoming just the fourth player in the club’s history to reach that milestone, after Cristiano Ronaldo (450), Raul (323) and Alfredo Di Stefano (308). Do not expect him to stop here.
Asensio enjoyed an impressive game but he will be disappointed not to have got on the scoresheet. He had the most shots of any player on the pitch (five), while no Madrid team-mate had more than his two shots on target.
Los Blancos take on arch rivals Barcelona in the Supercopa de Espana on Wednesday, while Valencia are next in action a week on Sunday when they visit Atletico Baleares in the Copa del Rey.
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