Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema said Sunday night that he kept spotting space between Liverpool’s center-backs
On Wednesday, the Ballon d’Or winner scored the game’s only goal as Real Madrid eliminated Liverpool from the Champions League. It was a sloppy goal, as is typical of Benzema’s goals against Liverpool. After slipping between Ibrahima Konate and Virgil van Dijk, he linked up with Vinicius Jr before tapping into an open net.
When asked to explain the goal to realmadrid.com after the game, Benzema was eager to credit his run to youthful teammate Eduardo Camavinga. He also had some harsh words for Liverpool’s center-backs.
“Since I know Liverpool’s center-backs play rather wide, there’s usually more opportunity through the middle, which is where I went for the goal,” the 35-year-old explained. “He [Camavinga] tries things, he’s a young player, but he’s got a lot of talent, and we’re excited about him.”
Not every striker will notice the small details that Benzema does. He is without a doubt one of the greatest in the profession. But it’s still concerning that he can detect a flaw in Liverpool’s defense so openly.
Liverpool are defeated by one of the finest.
To be honest, this isn’t something we’re very used to seeing from Liverpool’s defense. There’s usually plenty of room behind them and out wide, but not usually through the centre.
In any case, it was something Rio Ferdinand saw in the aftermath of yesterday night’s game.
But, you might understand if Van Dijk and Konate were merely frightened of Benzema’s threat. With Vinicius Jr. and Federico Valverde equally deserving of attention, they may have been unsure whether to tighten up or fan broader.
In the end, they accomplished neither. But there wasn’t a lot of room for Benzema to move about in. Camavinga’s ball was magnificent, and it needed a lucky ricochet for it to land.
But, with the game already over, standards were lowered just enough to let Benzema in. That’s all he requires. Now that we’ve faced the guy with the most Champions League goals in history against Liverpool [Squawka], hopefully it’ll be a long time before we see him again.