Karim Benzema, Real Madrid Cruise to 4-2 Win over Celta Vigo in La Liga

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist INovember 11, 2018

VIGO, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 11: Karim Benzema of Real Madrid celebrate with team mates after scores the second goal during the La Liga match between RC Celta de Vigo and Real Madrid CF at Abanca-Balaidos on November 11, 2018 in Vigo, Spain. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)
Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Dani Ceballos scored a spectacular late goal for Real Madrid as they secured a 4-2 La Liga win at Celta Vigo on Sunday.  

Los Blancos took the lead in style midway through the first half. Karim Benzema expertly controlled a ball in from Luka Modric on the turn and then tucked it past Sergio Alvarez.

Benzema played a big role in Madrid's second goal, as shot rebounded off the post and then crossed the line off Celta defender Gustavo Cabral.

Hugo Mallo pulled one back for Celta on the hour mark, before Sergio Ramos added a third from the spot after David Junca had caught Alvaro Odriozola.

Cabral was sent off late for Celta after he picked up his second yellow card of the match. 

Ceballos then sealed the win in style with a strong run and finish into the top corner in stoppage time, before Brais Mendez netted a consolation.


Solari Must Get Full-Time Job for Getting Madrid Back on Track

Sunday's win saw Santiago Solari maintain his perfect record since he replaced Julen Lopetegui in the Real Madrid hot seat:

OptaJose @OptaJose

1 - Santiago Solari is the first @realmadriden manager to win his first four competitive games since Manuel Pellegrini in 2009 (7). Inspiring. https://t.co/GWjLqUJXB3

Los Blancos have won all four games under the 42-year-old's stewardship, scoring 15 goals and conceding just three times.

The results mean Real Madrid are back in contention in La Liga—just four points behind Barcelona. The club are also on track in Europe, as they top Group G in UEFA Champions League qualifying.

Lopetegui was sacked after a run of three straight defeats in La Liga, but Solari has guided Real Madrid back to winning ways and deserves the chance to continue.

Real Madrid have been far from perfect in recent weeks, but Solari has also had luck on his side:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

That's two opposition own-goals in Solari's two La Liga games in charge - along with the three shots off the woodwork.

However, he's also had to cope with an increasingly long injury list. Casemiro and Sergio Reguilon were both forced off with first-half injuries. Nacho Fernandez joined them after the break:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

Difficult to say Solari relying on luck if he loses starting holding midfielder, left back and centre back through injuries, when starting game missing three of first choice back four.

The European champions must make a decision on Solari on Monday. Spanish FA rules state he must either be confirmed as their new full-time manager or leave his interim role, per Sport.

Solari has made some big calls already in his brief time in charge. He's installed Thibaut Courtois as his first-choice goalkeeper over Keylor Navas, handed Brazilian teenager Vinicius Junior game time and hasn't been afraid to leave Isco and Marco Asensio on the bench.

Real Madrid have responded positively to Solari's appointment, and he must now be given the chance to manage the team until the end of the season.


Benzema Silences Critics as Hot Streak Continues

Benzema maintained his hot streak in front of goal against Celta, as he put in one of his best performances of the season so far.

The Frenchman scored a brilliant opening goal, which drew plenty of praise:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

1-0 Madrid - Super goal by Benzema, even those who dont understand football will love that first touch on the run, turn, and cool finish.

Andy West @andywest01

What a first touch by Benzema. Velvet.

He also set up Toni Kroos for a glorious chance—which the German somehow blazed over the bar—hit the crossbar with another shot and then played a big role in the second goal.

Benzema went past David Junca and sent in a low effort, which beat the goalkeeper, hit the post and then went in off Gustavo Cabral to put Real Madrid 2-0 up.

The 30-year-old now has four goals and two assists in his last six outings for Real Madrid and has picked his form up after a run of eight games in which he didn't find the back of the net.

Opta highlighted how consistent he has been during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu:

OptaJose @OptaJose

9 - Karim @Benzema has scored 10+ goals in nine of his 10 seasons for @realmadriden in all competitions. Fire. https://t.co/Rv4K8Yb2ls

Yet for all his goals, Benzema frequently comes in for criticism. He addressed his doubters after he scored twice in Real Madrid's win over Viktoria Plzen last Wednesday:


"Sometimes people don't understand what I do on the pitch." @Benzema attempts to explain his side of things. As he reached goal 200 for #RealMadrid 💪 🗣 https://t.co/m7lJXrUTRG https://t.co/5kfIycA3j1

Benzema does not always get the credit he deserves. However, he has played a key role in the team's recent revival and demonstrated his quality once more against Celta.


What's Next?

Celta Vigo face a trip to Real Sociedad after the international break on November 26. Real Madrid play two days earlier at Eibar.