‘You have to be able to ride out the storm’: Karim Benzema praises Real Madrid for staying within touching distance of Man City in the Champions League semi-final after scoring twice to keep his side in the tie
Karim Benzema admitted that Real Madrid did well to stay in the tie after conceding four times against Manchester City in their Champions League semi-final first leg.
Pep Guardiola’s side threatened to run away with the game after going 2-0 up inside the opening 11 minutes at the Etihad Stadium and eventually won 4-3 on a thrilling night of football.
Benzema scored a brace to cut City’s advantage to one goal on two occasions, producing a clever volley to make it 2-1 just after the half hour mark and executing a perfect Panenka from the penalty spot in the final 10 minutes to make it 4-3.
Karim Benzema says that Real Madrid ‘rode the storm’ against Manchester City on Tuesday
Pep Guardiola’s side threatened to run away with the tie after going 2-0 up inside 11 minutes
‘It was a great semi-final against a great City team,’ the striker told RMC Sport. ‘They had a better start to the game, but we didn’t give in at the end of the first half and started to create some chances.
‘You have to be able to ride out the storm against the big sides. That’s what we did and in the end, we managed to score three goals.’
Benzema has now scored 14 goals in the Champions League this season, nine of which have come in the knockout stages – only Cristiano Ronaldo in 2016-17 (10) has ever netted more knockout goals in a single campaign.
The Frenchman, 34, has been the star of Real Madrid’s run in the competition and scored a hat-trick against Chelsea in the quarter-finals.
Benzema’s first goal was a well-executed volley that halved City’s advantage in the first half
The 34-year-old also scored a perfect Panenka from the penalty spot in the final 10 minutes
His nonchalant penalty on Tuesday night earned particular praise, especially as he had missed two spot-kicks against Osasuna in LaLiga six days earlier.
‘Ice cold, this guy,’ Rio Ferdinand said on BT Sport. ‘He has won four Champions League trophies. Even if it was in the last minute, he would’ve still executed it.’
Benzema will need to be at the top of his game again at the Bernabeu next week, as Los Blancos have never progressed from a Champions League semi-final when they have lost the first leg.