Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema in action against Manchester City
The Cityzens were up 4-2 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semifinal last night (April 26) when Los Blancos were given a lifeline.
Aymeric Laporte handled the ball in the box with less than 10 minutes to go, and the referee instantly awarded a spot-kick.
Benzema, who missed two penalties in Real Madrid’s win against Osasuna in La Liga over the weekend, stepped up to take it. Not only did the Frenchman send Ederson the wrong way, but he also scored with an exquisite Panenka to haul his side back into the tie.
After the match, the 34-year-old was asked about his outrageous yet successful attempt. He replied (as quoted by Sky Sports):
“I always have it in my head that if you don’t take a penalty, you will never miss a penalty. That’s mental confidence and that’s all. I have a lot of confidence in myself… so I do it and it turns out well.”
The dinked penalty was Benzema’s second goal of the match. However, it didn’t stop Manchester City from claiming a 4-3 win at the Etihad.
It could still play a vital role with Los Blancos playing at home in the second leg, though.
Benzema keeps Real Madrid alive vs Manchester City as teams play out Champions League classic
When Manchester City and Real Madrid were drawn to meet in the semifinals of this season’s Champions League, many expected a blockbuster encounter.
The first 90 minutes of the first leg certainly lived up to the billing as the teams served up an instant classic.
Kevin De Bruyne put Pep Guardiola’s side ahead in less than two minutes, heading home from Riyad Mahrez’s cross. The Belgian then turned provider to set up Gabriel Jesus for the Cityzens’ second goal in the 11th minute.
Manchester City went on to spurn some good chances in the next 20 minutes, and Benzema duly made them pay. The Frenchman brought Los Blancos back into the game with a volleyed finish from Ferland Mendy’s cross in the 33rd minute.
Phil Foden then stepped up to put the hosts in front again eight minutes into the second half, scoring with another header from Fernandinho’s cross. However, the latter was culpable as Vinicius Jr. scored a fantastic solo goal to make it 3-2 just two minutes later.
Bernardo Silva, who put in a Player of the Match outing in this match, put the Cityzens ahead again with arguably the goal of the night in the 74th minute.
However, Benzema’s Panenka in the 82nd minute meant that Manchester City would hold just a one-goal cushion heading to the Santiago Bernabeu next week.