MADRID ( Associated Press) — In a dream season, Karim Benzema has already become the second best scorer in the history of the legendary Real Madrid.
The French striker celebrated a historic goal on Thursday during the 6-0 beating that the newly crowned Spanish La Liga champion prescribed for Levante, to condemn him hopelessly to relegation.
Vinícius Júnior stole a bit of the spotlight from the French star, celebrating his first hat-trick as a merengue.
Ferland Mendy opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a left-footed shot that went into the goal post on the first of three Luka Modric assists.
Six minutes later, it was time for Benzema to win ovations at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium with an accurate header in front of the door to mark his 323rd as a merengue footballer at the center of Vinícius.
The Whites came out with their foot on the accelerator and extended the lead when Rodrygo finished off a diagonal pass from Modric in the 34th minute in front of the goal.
In the final stretch of the first half came the moment for “Vini” to shine, scoring the first of his goals in the 44th minute, with a new pass from Modric.
The Brazilian winger increased his quota to 17 goals in the course (21 in the season) with goals at 68 —a pass from Benzema— and at 83, with a break from three quarters of the field.
“My first hat trick, I am very happy. There is no better way to close the season and prepare for the final (of the Champions League),” Vinícius said.
The first half was a bloodletting for the Granota team and luckily they did not go into the break with more goals in tow after Federico Valverde crashed two shots from outside the area and a shot in the area on the posts.
Real Madrid – which will play the Champions League final against Liverpool at the end of the month – resumed their triumphant path towards the end of the calendar by reaching 84 units. A couple of days ago he had already secured his 35th crown of the course.
The Levante players made a corridor for their rivals when they went out on the field, after Atlético de Madrid refused to pay this traditional tribute in Spain over the weekend.
Then, the visitors could not avoid the loss of their place in the top category by remaining bottom with 29 points.
Benzema overtook the legendary striker Raúl González in second place in merengue history with his 27th goal in the championship – which he leads among scorers – and his 44th in all competitions this season.
For the 34-year-old French striker, this was his 603rd match as a merengue element (139 fewer than those played by Raúl González) since he arrived at the institution for the 2009-2010 season.
He is only behind Cristiano Ronaldo in the list of Real Madrid scorers. The Portuguese ended his career with the team after scoring 451 goals.
THE SUBMARINE GOALS IN VALLECAS
Alfonso Pedraza (3′ and 88′), Juan Foyth (27′), Paco Alcácer (38′) and Pau Torres (45′+1′) converted the goals with which Villarreal thrashed Rayo Vallecano 5-1 as a visitor , for which Sergi Guardiola momentarily equalized (21′).
The “Yellow Submarine” was left with 56 units in 7th position, still in the fight for a ticket to the next Europa League.
The Rayista team, saved from relegation, stagnated in 12th position with 42 points.
THE REAL SHINES AT HOME
Real Sociedad converted a pair of goals from the penalty spot to thrash Cádiz 3-0, who squandered the opportunity to move away from the relegation zone.
Alexander Sørloth (19′), Adnan Januzaj (53′ penalty) and Portu (90’+8′ penalty) scored the goals for the txuri urdin team, who is in 6th position with 59 units.
The Cadiz team stayed in 17th position with 35 units, two above the relegation limit set by the Mallorca team.