Karim Benzema was taken off at the Mestalla with over ten minutes still remaining and the result far from secure for Real Madrid. As he took his seat on the substitutes bench his actions suggested that he was not happy with the decision from Zidane.
In the crunch Liga game against one of the surprise packages of the season, Valencia, Real Madrid had taken a two-goal lead into the half-time interval thanks to two penalties from Cristiano Ronaldo. But the second half saw a strong push from the home side and several chances created, one of them converted by Santi Mina just before the hour mark.
Valencia pressure, Benzema removed, reaction clear
With the score delicately poised at 1-2, and pressure mounting on the goal of Keylor Navas, Zidane decided to make his second change of the afternoon. Marco Asensio replaced Benzema and the final minutes of the game went in favour of the visitors as goals from Marcelo and Toni Kross added the gloss to the scoreline. But the Frenchman's reaction to being substituted also grabbed the attention of some fans.
As he sat on the bench, next to the unused subs, he was handed a jacket to keep him covered ahead of a warm-down, which he threw to the ground in what appeared to be anger or frustration. The footage was clearly captured by the television cameras.
Zidane responds to Benzema outburst
After the game, manager Zidane was asked in the press conference about the incident:
“All players get angry when they are taken off, but that’s not the important thing. in the end it's the result that matters and Karim is happy, as we all are.”