Eibar 1-4 Real Madrid: Allez Benzema!

This week I had the chance to talk at length with someone who knows Karim Benzema very well. They explained to me that I'd be making a big mistake if I completely lost faith in the Real Madrid centre-forward.

I'll not lie to you: I was in danger of doing so.

Benzema's got more fire in his belly right now than any Madrid supporter can imagine, I was told. There's only one thought running through his head: to keep on winning trophies in the white shirt.

Benzema celebrates at Ipurua.

Brilliant Benzema back on song at Eibar

Indeed, so persuaded was I that, before Saturday's game against Eibar, I wrote in this newspaper of the need to get behind the 29-year-old. And he didn't let me down. Oh no: quite the opposite.

At Ipurua, we saw the Benzema that we saw against Napoli. We saw the Benzema who would put to bed any media or bar-room debate if he always played with such determination and faith in what he does.

With no Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo or Álvaro Morata, he went out there with the bit between his teeth. He felt the onus on him - and responded magnificently.

Real's first two goals bore his signature, a brace that knocked the bottom out of an Eibar side who had no answer to the sleeves-rolled-up, collective spirit of a back-on-form visiting team.

Real Madrid's players celebrate during their 4-1 win at Eibar on Saturday.

Goals dedicated to countryman Kopa

He now has 176 goals in 350 games for Los Blancos, and dedicated each of Saturday's strikes to the late Raymond Kopa; another Frenchman who made his mark at the Bernabéu, winning three European Cups.

Benzema now has two - La Décima and La Undécima - and here's hoping that the ex-Lyon man can draw level with his compatriot in Cardiff.

The striker led the way for Real Madrid as they thumped Eibar and came away from the Basque Country with the points. Allez Karim!