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    Real Madrid hits four in Benzema’s absence, while Barcelona ease past Cadiz


    Football   |   September 12, 2022

    Real Madrid maintained their 100% start to the season on Sunday with a 4-1 win over Mallorca even with the absence of their star striker Karim Benzema.

    The Frenchman was hauled off last week in the Los Blancos’ winning start to their UEFA Champions League defense against Celtic. Real Madrid recorded a 3-0 win in Scotland last week.

    With another European encounter against RB Leipzig coming up on Wednesday, Carlo Ancellotti decided on a rotation that saw Modric and Tchouameni on the bench.

    Mallorca opened the scoring in the 35th minute, but Federico Valverde equalized on the dot of half-time. Vinicius Junior gave Real Madrid the lead in the 74th minute.

    Rodrygo and Antonio Rudiger sealed the win for the Los Blancos with two late goals each.

    Despite Real Madrid’s four-goal victory, Carlo Ancellotti played Eden Hazard in the false nine position, which yielded little to no result.

    However, Carlo Ancellotti shouldered the blame for Eden Hazard’s ineffectiveness on Sunday afternoon.

    “It’s better to use Rodrygo as a nine with Valverde rather than just Hazard. We had difficulties not because Hazard was there but because the other positions weren’t occupied by the others. Hazard can play center-forward.” Ancelotti said.

    The defending champions will remain at the Los Blancos for their second UEFA Champions League group stage game for RB Leipzig’s visit on Wednesday.

    Meanwhile, Barcelona were 4-0 winners over Cadiz on Saturday to keep up with League leaders Real Madrid. The Catalans had four different scorers on the night.

    Frenkie De Jong opened the scoring, while Robert Lewandowski, Ansu Fati, and Ousmane Dembele were all on the score sheet in the second half.

    Xavi’s side will travel to Germany to face Bayern Munich on Lewandowski’s return to the Allianz Arena.

    Real Betis handed Villarreal their first defeat of the season in a 1-0 loss on Sunday.

    Daniel Ademiju Idowu

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