Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema’s surprising Santiago Bernabéu run
Karim Benzema will become Real Madrid’s second all-time top league goalscorer if he scores against Real Sociedad in LaLiga on Sunday.
Karim Benzema pounced on a loose ball after a save from Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen and fired a crisp left-footed strike past the German into the back of the bet. It was Real Madrid’s first goal in El Clásico and, to date, the only LaLiga goal the French striker has scored at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu this season. More than 100 days have now passed, including a break for the Qatar 2022 World Cup. Against Real Sociedad on Sunday, however, Benzema has another opportunity to continue closing the gap to the league’s top goalscorer Robert Lewandowski, who has netted 13 goals. Benzema has nine, four of which have come in the last month.
Karim Benzema’s injury issues in the first half of 2022-23
Injuries, especially the one he suffered against Celtic on Champions League matchday one, disrupted the first half of Benzema’s season. Up until the World Cup break, the striker was uncharacteristically forced to sit out a number of matches, featuring in just three LaLiga games out of a possible seven at the Santiago Bernabéu. When he did play, he wasn’t quite at his clinical best, especially against Real Betis in Real Madrid’s first home league fixture of the campaign, with the Frenchman passing up four opportunities to find the net.
Against Osasuna at the start of October, four more chances to score came and went, the best of which came from the penalty spot; it was the third spot-kick he had missed in his career against the men from Pamplona. As mentioned, Benzema did find the net - arguably when it mattered most - against Barça but the other eight LaLiga goals he has scored this season have come away from home. The current Ballon d’Or holder scored his first goal of the campaign in Los Blancos’ 4-1 win at Celta Viga on the opening weekend, following by a double away to Espanyol and another two at Elche.
How many league goals has Karim Benzema scored for Real Madrid?
Benzema ended last season as the top scorer in LaLiga with 27 goals, 15 (55.55%) of which came at the Santiago Bernabéu, numbers which were similar to those he posted in 2020-21 (12 of 23 at home, 52.17%). This season, however, is a different story, with the former Lyon star finding numerous homes away from home. His last goal on the road, a superb volley against Athletic Club at San Mamés last weekend, saw Benzema overtake Alfredo Di Stéfano (227 goals) in the Real Madrid scoring stakes (in the league) and drew him level in second spot with Raúl on 228. Only Cristiano Ronaldo, with 311 strikes, has found the net on more occasions in LaLiga.
Benzema therefore has the chance to move into second spot on his own against La Real, against whom has netted nine times in 18 matches in his career. Given his current form in all competitions - nine goals in his last 10 appearances - few would bet against him finding the net on Sunday and regaining his position at the top of the scoring charts between now and May from Lewandowski, who will be looking nervously over his shoulder.
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