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Benzema leads Real Madrid to 3-1 win at Eibar

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, center, kicks the ball between Eibar's Kevin Rodriguez and Eibar's Anaitz Arbilla, right, during the Spanish La Liga socc...
Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos duels for the ball with Eibar's Kike Garcia, right, during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Eibar and Real Madrid, ...
Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, top left, misses an opportunity on a goal in front Eibar's goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic during the Spanish La Liga soccer m...
Real Madrid's Luka Modric, center obscured from view, celebrates with teammates after scoring during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Eibar an...
Real Madrid's goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, controls the ball in front Eibar's Kike Garcia during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Eibar and Re...
Real Madrid's Ferland Mendy, right views for the ball with Eibar's Tasahi Inui during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Eibar and Real Madrid, ...
Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, left, jumps for the ball with Eibar's Edu Expositoduring the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Eibar and Real Madrid, ...

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, center, kicks the ball between Eibar's Kevin Rodriguez and Eibar's Anaitz Arbilla, right, during the Spanish La Liga socc...

Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos duels for the ball with Eibar's Kike Garcia, right, during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Eibar and Real Madrid, ...

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, top left, misses an opportunity on a goal in front Eibar's goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic during the Spanish La Liga soccer m...

Real Madrid's Luka Modric, center obscured from view, celebrates with teammates after scoring during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Eibar an...

Real Madrid's goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, controls the ball in front Eibar's Kike Garcia during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Eibar and Re...

Real Madrid's Ferland Mendy, right views for the ball with Eibar's Tasahi Inui during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Eibar and Real Madrid, ...

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, left, jumps for the ball with Eibar's Edu Expositoduring the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Eibar and Real Madrid, ...

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Karim Benzema scored one goal and set up another to lead Real Madrid to a 3-1 win at Eibar on Sunday, keeping the defending champions level on points with Atlético Madrid at the top of the Spanish league.

Zinedine Zidane’s side is behind Atlético on goal difference. The city rivals are three points ahead of Real Sociedad and eight points ahead of Barcelona, which is in fifth place behind Villarreal.

Benzema opened the scoring in the sixth minute when he controlled an expert pass from Rodrygo before knocking the ball past goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic.

The French striker assisted Luka Modric in the 12th after he dribbled around a defender and found the Croatia midfielder arriving unmarked at the edge of the area. Modric fired a right-footed strike into the upper part of the net to score what proved to be the winning goal.

Eibar stayed true to coach José Mendilibar’s playing style of pressuring high up the field, and what looked like a Madrid rout became an entertaining contest.

Kike García got Eibar back in the game in the 28th when the striker scored a brilliant strike from outside the area, curling a long shot beyond the reach of Thibaut Courtois and inside the far post.

Both attacks continued to create scoring chances but the defenses kept the score from moving until stoppage time.

Moments after Sergio Ramos blocked a chance by Eibar’s Pedro Vigas, an attack at the other end saw Lucas Vázquez beat Dmitrovic for Madrid's third goal.

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Updated : 2021-01-26 05:45 GMT+08:00