Karim Benzema suggests Real Madrid must find earlier goals in games if they do not wish to suffer after their 3-1 Copa del Rey comeback against Atletico Madrid.
Los Blancos failed to find the net until the final quarter-hour of regular time at the Santiago Bernabeu, when Rodrygo cancelled out Alvaro Morata’s opener.
His superb solo finish forced extra-time in Thursday’s quarter-final tie, with further goals for Benzema and Vinicius Junior cementing the turnaround for the hosts.
The reigning winner of the Ballon d’Or acknowledged his side made themselves work for their spot in the last four with their performance at points, but stresses they always had the quality to respond.
“It was a very difficult and complicated game,” the France international reflected afterwards. “But with the players and talent we have, we knew we could make a comeback of it.
“Perhaps we need to score goals sooner, because we don’t like to suffer. Atletico positioned themselves well, got in behind, and that cost us. Rodrygo’s response was a great goal.”
3 – @Benzema has scored the last three @realmadriden‘s goals in a extra-time period in any competition (the other two came against Chelsea and Manchester City in Champions League 2021/2022). Specialist. pic.twitter.com/PHpTLlrjYU
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 26, 2023
For Vinicius, his goal ensured a bright finish to a difficult day in which an effigy of the Brazilian winger was hung from a bridge near Madrid’s training ground ahead of the derby.
Coach Carlo Ancelotti praised the 22-year-old in his post-match comments, adding there was never any doubt he would miss the match despite the incident.
“Vinicius has always wanted to play and was very focused on the game,” he said. “He played a great game. What happened elsewhere today has been very regrettable.”
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