Benzema doubles as Real Madrid win in Santander

09:02, March 07, 2011      

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Striker Karim Benzema scored twice as Real Madrid secured an important 3-1 win away to Santander Racing.

Emmanuel Adebayor also scored as Madrid produced a good performance to remain within seven points of FC Barcelona and to show that they are capable of playing good football without their star player, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Real Madrid began the game without Ronaldo for the first time this season and coach Jose Mourinho opted to pair strikers Benzema and Adebayor for the first time since Adebayor's arrival in January.

Kicking off the game 10 points behind FC Barcelona, Real Madrid started strongly looking for a goal and were unlucky when Xabi Alonso's free kick bounced off their post after just 12 minutes.

Two minutes later Marcelo missed an incredible chance when he sliced the ball wide and Benzema saw another shot repelled by the woodwork.

It looked to be a question of time before Madrid scored and they did so after 23 minutes thanks to Adebayor, who put the finishing touch to a lightening move involving Alonso and Mesut Ozil, which left the striker with a simple finish.

Benzema was not to be denied and doubled Madrid's lead shortly afterwards after Ozil set him up following a poor pass from Racing 's Gustavo Colsa.

Madrid looked to be coasting, but they had a let off early in the second half when Racing were awarded a penalty for an Alonso foul on Giovanni Dos Santos. Veteran defender Pablo Pinillos took the spot kick only for Iker Casillas to guess correctly and make the save.

Racing did get back into things after 69 minutes after Kennedy Bakircioglu beat Casillas with a low shot, but Benzema's second of the night restored Madrid's two goal lead 15 minutes from time.

Adebayor then saw a penalty saved by Tono Rodriguez following a foul on Angel de Maria, although it had no effect on the final destination of the points.
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Source: Xinhua

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