REAL MADRID

Real Madrid need the best Hazard, says Benzema

Eden Hazard scored one and set up another in Real Madrid's 1-4 win over Alavés, which team mate Karim Benzema sees as an encouraging sign.

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Real Madrid need the best Hazard - Benzema

Karim Benzema has urged Eden Hazard to continue delivering for Real Madrid, after the Belgium star impressed against Alavés on Saturday. Hazard scored himself and also set up the first of two Benzema goals as Madrid eased to a 4-1 win over LaLiga strugglers Alavés, relieving some of the pressure on Zinedine Zidane, who was absent from the touchline after testing positive for Covid-19. 

Madrid had lost their previous two matches, against Athletic Club in the Spanish Super Cup  before being knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Alcoyano midweek

Casemiro opened the scoring before Benzema struck either side of Hazard's third goal of the season. Hazard, signed from Chelsea in 2019, has struggled for form amid an injury hit spell at Madrid, but he seemed close to his best against Alavés.  The 30-year-old both scored and assisted in a league game for just the second time in a Madrid shirt, while only Benzema (four) managed more attempts than Hazard's two.

Hazard's starting to come good

With Hazard showing signs of a resurgence, Benzema, who has scored 10 league goals this season, wants his team-mate to go on and make his name in the Spanish capital. "You always notice the depth in this team, I always want to help my team mates," the French striker told Movistar.  "Hazard was a great player at Chelsea and now he has to write another story at Madrid. He is well, much better. He works hard and has played a good game. We need the best Hazard." 

Madrid's victory closed the gap, temporarily at least, on LaLiga leaders Atlético Madrid, who host Valencia on Sunday. Los Blancos are four points shy of their city rivals but six clear of Barcelona, who are also in action on Sunday. 

"It was a good game, very good for confidence, we know that each game is very difficult, each rival makes it difficult for us," said Benzema, who has now been involved in 10 goals in eight appearances against Alavés in LaLiga.  "Today everything came out, we all wanted to play, it was a very good game for us. That is worked every day, the goals, the crosses, the passes. We are on the right track after a hard week for us. We always want to win."