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Real Madrid Only Challenged For La Liga Title Because Of Karim Benzema

Real Madrid Only Challenged For La Liga Title Because Of Karim Benzema

Real Madrid nearly stole a La Liga title win on Saturday night, and Zinedine Zidane’s side were only in that position because of Karim Benzema.

Atleti were under all sorts of pressure against Real Valladolid, especially when they went behind early, and when Real completed their comeback late against Villarreal it really was a nervy finish.

If Valladolid had scored an equaliser an unlikely title would have gone to the Bernabeu and, though that’s no achievement for Los Blancos, even getting that close was all down to their striker.

Benzema’s 87th minute equaliser was his 23rd goal of the season, meaning only Lionel Messi scored more goals in La Liga.

The Frenchman’s tally was so far ahead of his teammates and he was the only player in Zidane’s side to hit double figures in the league.

Midfielder Casemiro was next on the list with just six goals and Luka Modric and Marco Asensio behind the Brazilian with five goals.

With nine assists, along with his goals, the former Lyon striker has been directly involved in 32 goals for Real this season.

That is very nearly half of their 67 goals in the league that he’s been involved in, even Messi’s ratio for Barcelona this season isn’t that significant.

Had the 33-year-old not been mere centimeters offside on Saturday, he may have ended up with 34 goals and another La Liga title.

Real thought they’d equalised against Villarreal in the 57th minute of the game, with Atleti still losing it would have put even more pressure on the league leaders.

Whilst VAR checked Benzema’s effort, Angel Correa made it 1-1 in Valladolid and, despite Real’s late comeback the title race was over.

Simeone’s side did still need a late winner from Luis Suarez of course, and the Uruguayan also proved that strikers in their 30s shouldn’t be discarded.

Benzema can be safe in the knowledge he did everything to stop Simeone, Suarez and co, can his teammates say the same?

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