Football

Real Madrid sails on Benzema hat-trick

Hat-trick hero: Karim Benzema converts from the spot for Real Madrid’s fifth goal and his third.  

Real Madrid returned to the Santiago Bernabeu after 560 days away and Karim Benzema ensured it was a happy homecoming as his hat-trick inspired a thrilling 5-2 fightback against Celta Vigo on Sunday.

Benzema twice had to pull Madrid level after Santi Mina and Franco Cervi each put Celta ahead, goals that were greeted with whistles inside the Bernabeu where 19,874 fans attended for the first time in a year and a half.

But Benzema kept his team in it and Madrid motored in the second half, Vinicius Junior finishing after racing onto the France forward’s through-ball before Eduardo Camavinga marked his debut by tapping into an open net.

Benzema completed his hat-trick by converting a penalty in the 87th minute, and five goals and two assists from his opening four games this season.

There was certainly a warm glow inside the Bernabeu at the end, a sense of relief after so long playing at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium, a move prompted by the pandemic’s ban on fans and aimed at accelerating the €575 million renovation work at their 81,000-capacity home.

Stephan El Shaarawy fired Roma top of Serie A on Sunday with a stunning stoppage-time strike which handed Jose Mourinho’s — his 1000th match as coach — team a 2-1 win over Sassuolo.

Italy international El Shaarawy struck with a sublime curling strike in the 91st minute which caused wild celebrations at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, with Mourinho running to join his joyous players in front of the screaming supporters.

A thrilling match looked to be heading for a draw after Bryan Cristante’s 37th-minute opener was cancelled out by Filip Djuricic just before the hour mark and both sides wasted a raft of chances.

Each hit the post in an end-to-end contest but it was Roma goalkeeper Rui Patricio who had to be at his best to stop gilt-edged opportunities presented to Domenico Berardi and Jeremie Boga as Sassuolo pushed for a win.

Overwhelmed

Liverpool’s teenage midfielder Harvey Elliott said he had been overwhelmed by the “love and support” he has received since dislocating his ankle in Sunday’s 3-0 win at Leeds.

Elliott sustained the gruesome injury after a challenge by Leeds defender Pascal Struijk, who was sent off after a VAR review.

The 18-year-old received lengthy treatment on the Elland Road pitch before being stretchered off, leaving players from both teams looking distraught.

Elliott was later discharged from a hospital in Leeds and while the full severity of the damage has yet to be confirmed, he will undergo surgery.

The results: LaLiga: Cadiz 0 lost to Real Sociedad 2 (Oyarzabal 71, 84-pen); Real Madrid 5 (Benzema 24, 46, 87-pen, Vinicius Junior 55, Camavinga 72) bt Celta Vigo 2 (Lorenzo 4, Cervi 31).

Bundesliga: Borussia M’Gladbach 3 (Stindl 35, 69, Zakaria 72) bt Arminia Bielefeld 1 (Okugawa 45+2).

Serie A: Roma 2 (Cristante 37, El Shaarawy 90+1) bt Sassuolo 1 (Djuricic 57); AC Milan 2 (Leao 45, Ibrahimovic 67) bt Lazio 0.

Premier League: Leeds 0 lost to Liverpool 3 (Salah 20, Fabinho 50, Mane 90).


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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 5:36:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/real-madrid-sails-on-benzema-hat-trick/article36440654.ece

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