Benzema at the double as Real Madrid cruise past Hercules

10:25, March 13, 2011      

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Karim Benzema scored twice as Real Madrid cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win over Hercules in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on Saturday night.

The Frenchman scored in either half to take his goal tally for the season to nine in the BBVA Primera Liga and lift his side to within four points of league leaders FC Barcelona.

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho gave a rest to central defender Pepe and midfielder Xabi Alonso and decided not to risk Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of next week's Champions League tie against Olympique Lyon.

The home side began the game in control, but failed to carve out clear cut chances until Benzema opened the scoring after 24 minutes.

The French striker collected a neat pull back from Alvaro Arbeloa, who had been put through by Mesut Ozil. Benzema sidefooted the ball home to net his eighth goal of the campaign.

Two minutes later Emmanuel Adebayor saw his header from another Arbeloa cross tipped over the bar by Hercules keeper Juan Calatayud.

Hercules were playing the ball around well in midfield and carved out chances of their own as Madrid appeared to lose concentration. Oliver Thomert volleyed straight at Iker Casillas before young winger Kiko saw a shot saved by the Madrid keeper less than a minute later.

Two minutes into the second half Hercules passed the milestone of having played over 1,000 minutes football away from home without scoring a goal and they never looked like bringing that sad record to an end in a poor second half.

The Primera Liga strugglers failed to manage another shot on target in the second 45 minutes football and the result was never in doubt after Benzema scored his second of the night. He took advantage of an error from Abraham Paz to score from a narrow angle.

The rest of the game saw Calatayud deny Madrid with a series of excellent saves. Benzema can count himself unfortunate not to have scored a hat-trick, while Adebayor hit the woodwork.

At the end of the game, however, it was job done for Real Madrid, who claimed the points with the minimum of effort and without picking up any injuries or suspensions.

Source: Xinhua
 
 
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