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Benzema's legendary hat trick seals quarter final spot for Real Madrid




SPORTS NEWS: Benzema's legendary hat trick seals quarter final spot for Real Madrid [New Sports News] » Naijacrawl
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After Carlo Ancelotti rectified his mistake of not starting Eduardo Camavinga and Rodrygo Goes, the two young players helped change the game.

The real hero was Karim Benzema, who scored a hat trick to entrench his legacy as one of the greatest players in the history of the Champions League. Those goals boosted Real to a 3-2 advantage on aggregate, and they are now through to the quarterfinals of the competition.

Here are the player ratings from Real Madrid’s all-time great comeback over PSG.

GK Thibaut Courtois

Thibaut Courtois was, in truth, outsmarted by Kylian Mbappe on the goal, meaning Mbappe is the only player who can outsmart the great Belgian keeper. David Alaba did well to cut off the swerving shot, so Courtois should have been more alert at the near post.

But can I blame him for that goal? No. Instead, I will praise him for the other stops he made. Courtois continues to be an important asset to this team.

Rating: 6.5

LB Nacho Fernandez

With Ferland Mendy suspended, Nacho Fernandez started at left back to keep David Alaba in a central role. It worked out well, as Nacho was never threatened defensively and could simply watch as Vinicius worked hard as hell to carry the attack on the left-hand side. I mean, it’s not like Mendy is such a great attacking option either…

With two tackles and three interceptions, this was another solid game from Nacho.

Rating: 7.0

CB David Alaba

World-class once again from David Alaba. The Real Madrid summer signing is an absolute dream, and fans cannot get enough of his heroics in central defense. He is always one of the smartest players on the pitch and kept things organized against a PSG side that looked to make dangerous counters with Mbappe and others. Alaba had to be at his best in reading the game, and he was.

Rating: 8.5

CB Eder Militao

Eder Militao had three tackles and three interceptions as the more active of the two center backs, putting in another strong, competent display at the heart of the Madrid defense. The 24-year-old never looks out of place on the big stage of the Champions League, and this is the second straight match in which he has delivered the goods for his team. He made some goal-saving interventions. Anyone who disputes his status as world-class is not paying close enough attention.

Rating: 8.5

RB Dani Carvajal

The only defensive player on Real Madrid to receive poor marks, but, in truth, he was held back by Marco Asensio’s lazy defending. Dani Carvajal had to do the work of two players as far as providing width on offense and compactness on defense against Mbappe. So it is no wonder why he was caught out badly for PSG’s lone goal. He played poorly with his own crossing and passing and deserves low marks.

Rating: 5.5


Modric is a man for this competition, and the four-time winner was world-class once more. He had four tackles and two clearances on the defensive end with three dribbles completed and an assist on the attacking end.

Without Modric, Real Madrid would not be through. If Benzema was the main hero of the match, then Modric was a close second. I cannot thank this man enough for everything he does for Real Madrid.

Rating: 9.0

CM Toni Kroos

If we are being honest, Toni Kroos should not have started through injury, and that was confirmed when Carlo Ancelotti subbed him out for Eduardo Camavinga before 60 minutes had passed at the Bernabeu.

Kroos was not terrible by any means, as he had four key passes and completed over 96 percent of his passes. Typical, right? But he was in no position to play 90 minutes or control the match. It was a good thing Ancelotti subbed him before fatigue set in.

Rating: 6.5

CM Fede Valverde

Fede Valverde was great in his role, lifting the team with his running and defensive work. The Uruguayan had four tackles and a pair of dribbles completed, proving why he needs to be a bigger part of the lineup going forward. Carlo Ancelotti must trust a man who gives it his all and produces in big games.

After being snubbed against the wishes of virtually all Madridistas, Valverde started in the second leg with Casemiro suspended and delivered the goods. He has changed this team for the better with his pressing and ball-carrying, as we saw in this win at the Bernabeu.

Rating: 7.5

CM Eduardo Camavinga

It is hard to give subs high ratings, but Eduardo Camavinga deserves praise. He may be only 19 years old, but this teenage midfielder is already a classy player. As we saw this weekend with his wondergoal, he has the quality to start matches for Real Madrid.

In this one, he came off the bench and changed the game again in the Champions League, just as he once did at San Siro. His passing was classy and is energy infectious.

Rating: 7.0

LW Vinicius Jr.

Yes, Vinicius Jr. botched a couple of great chances in the box, but he did so much good and really got the better of Achraf Hakimi after a disappointing first leg. You could tell Vini wanted to prove the world he is a star player and atone for his bad first match vs. PSG, especially for the fans at the Bernabeu whom he always wants to play for.

Vinicius had seven dribbles completed and four fouls drawn. PSG could not touch him, and they were very frustrated by his sill both in the beginning and at the end of the match. Just look at how he dusted Julian Draxler!

Rating: 8.0

CF Karim Benzema

My goodness, where do I begin? From the get-go, he was the most dangerous man on the pitch for Real Madrid, and, in the end, he bagged a hat-trick, carrying the day for his team. Benzema was ruthless in how he took his chances, and after being denied by a brilliant save from Gianluigi Donnarumma in the first half, he got sweet revenge on the Italian goalkeeper by pressuring him into a mistake that he later punished.

Benzema is one of the greatest Real Madrid players – nay, one of the greatest period – ever. What a way to go past another great, Alfredo Di Stefano, in the all-time chart!

Rating: 10, this performance meant EVERYTHING official man of the match.

RW Marco Asensio

I called Marco Asensio’s first leg performance one of the worst I have ever seen from a Real Madrid forward and gave him a 2.0 match rating.

Well, he was even worse in the second leg, Yet Carlo Ancelotti stuck with his favorite option. And the results were disastrous. 

Anyway, Asensio was so bad at everything. His runs off the ball and his pressing were so clueless that I cannot fathom how a player this, quite frankly, unintelligent can be starting for Real Madrid. How has someone who has spent years playing professionally developed so little intuition about the game?

He holds his teammates back. He makes them worse. Look at how Dani Carvajal was hung out to dry by Asensio’s lethargic work rate. Asensio was the worst player on a team filled with great players. “But he brings goals!” Goals against mediocre teams that Real struggle against only because Asensio offers so little elsewhere.

His time in Madrid must be done. It is embarrassing for Real Madrid to field him as a starter. He is beneath the standard of the club and undermines the work of his teammates. 

Rating: 4.0, I hope I never have to give a rating like this again

RW Rodrygo Goes

Rodrygo Goes was a massive upgrade on Asensio and a game-changing sub in every sense. He did all the things as a runner, defender, and passer that Asensio was unwilling to do. Rodrygo took people on and fought hard for his teammates, supporting them whenever offensively or defensively. He is everything Asensio is not as a player, and I do not trust the opinions of anyone who calls themselves a Madridista and rates Asensio higher than Rodrygo. After watching this match, that would be akin to blasphemy.

Rating: 7.5

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