Answering the doubters in style
Karim Benzema has his knockers - many of whom sit and whistle in the Santiago Bernabéu - but today against Eibar he has gone some way to answer them.
Often Zinedine Zidane's preferred formation of a front three, with Bale, Benzema and Cristiano being his first choice in those positions, hasn't worked as expected this season. Results have been coming but these have covered the cracks in some of the performances. Today, the Portugal and Wales stars were not in the matchday squad, nor was the other potential option, Álvaro Morata. This meant that the pressure was on Los Blancos' number nine to deliver.
Taking your chances when they come
And with just 13 minutes played the Frenchman delivered picking up a ball across the area from Asensio on the left (another player getting his chance in a much changed starting XI) and although his right foot effort was blocked by Eibar keeper, Yoel, Benzema made no mistake with the rebound off his left.
Fast-forward a 11 minutes and he was bulging the net again. This time a delicious delivery from the right by James and the striker timed his run to perfection to fire home ahead of the stranded keeper.
Madridistas have been waiting impatiently since early January, and two come along at once.