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Real Madrid climb atop La Liga by 8 points
The Royal Whites pulled off an impressive victory against a tough Athletic Club, considering it was done missing eleven first teamers and starting only six regulars — which would be plausible reasons to be off their game. This makes Real Madrid undefeated over 15 matches. It’s not always easy to fight through adversity; Real Madrid shows us all how it’s done.
A LEADER— LaLiga English (@LaLigaEN) December 23, 2021
8 points clear at the top.
✅ 14 wins.
❌ 1 loss. #LaLigaSantander | @realmadriden pic.twitter.com/iexvlbcr3T
Mister Ancelotti summed it up well:
️ @MrAncelotti: "Perfect night, good football and perfect attitude. Despite the problems we had, the team fought strongly. Camavinga and Fede did really well tonight." pic.twitter.com/NkNhyf1kL2— Infinite Madrid (@InfiniteMadrid) December 22, 2021
Kiyan, Om, et al. discuss practically everything about the match in the Managing Madrid Podcast.
The San Mames crowd applauds Benzema
Bilbao may enjoy aggressive football that at times resembles a street-fight and our players always come away with some bruises, but the club and fans showed a lot of class with this.
️ @Benzema: "I'm very happy with the applause from the Athletic fans, but I'm even more happy with the team's victory, I liked the performance and how we played - we knew how to suffer in the second half." pic.twitter.com/63iuiUdacY— Infinite Madrid (@InfiniteMadrid) December 22, 2021
AS cover | “The League of Benzema”— Real Madrid Info ³⁴ (@RMadridInfo) December 22, 2021
“San Mames gave him an standing ovation despite scoring two goals” pic.twitter.com/QVCGIcxaNv
Meanwhile, Karim Benzema knocked in a pair of key goals for the club.
@Benzema scored a brace in @realmadriden's last game of 2021 in #LaLigaSantander. #AthleticRealMadrid pic.twitter.com/4ID77PFWN2— LaLiga English (@LaLigaEN) December 22, 2021
King Karim has been among the world’s best goal scorers in the year 2021:
Karim Benzema has now scored the third-most goals of any player in Europe's top-five leagues in 2021 (32).— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 22, 2021
Behind only Robert Lewandowski (43) and Dusan Vlahovic (33). pic.twitter.com/kMBdYNrqk9
Here’s his message to the Madridistas:
✌️ @Benzema: "Hey madridistas! We're here after the match in Bilbao. We won, the three points are ours and we end the year top. Merry Christmas everyone and Hala Madrid!" pic.twitter.com/yM9GhXu5Vo— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) December 22, 2021
Peter Federico took a positive step with Real Madrid
Debut! pic.twitter.com/X79CG8bpmE— Madrid Zone (@theMadridZone) December 22, 2021
Euan McTear saw promising signs as well:
There was disappointment from some Real Madrid fans that Peter González wasn’t given an opportunity to show what he can do in the final moments of the Cádiz draw on Sunday. Now, with even more players missing for this midweek match, the 19-year-old was back in the squad and more likely to be given a chance off the bench. And he was. In the 86th minute he was introduced to take over the right flank from Eden Hazard and he did a lot in the few minutes available to him. He had a shot and a key pass too in just eight total minutes and, while we must keep in mind that he had acres of space to work with because Athletic had sent everybody forward, this was an eye-catching outing for the teenager.
Hazard proved he still has something
Eden Hazard has just played heavy minutes in two consecutive games. It’s nothing like vintage Hazard, of course, but some Spanish football sources are giving him solid reviews, including the Real Madrid boss.
| Ancelotti: "We had doubts about Hazard's physical condition but he did very well tonight. He's back, yes."— Madrid Xtra. (@MadridXtra) December 22, 2021
Eden Hazard is another player who enjoyed his night at San Mames, showing supporters that he is still capable of producing moments of attacking football.
What do you make of Hazard’s performances?
This poll is closed
He is showing that he is on the way back to being the Eden Hazard of three years ago. I still believe he can be great.
Hazard’s recent play has been encouraging and slowly he is building up to being a weapon for Ancelotti this season.
I was surprised that he was able to physically make it through these matches, given his recent record.
Hazard is finished. He can’t dribble past anyone. He slows up attacks. He contributes nothing to the team.
Too small of a sample size to judge. He’s played decently in two matches, but I expect a lot more from such a player.
Sergio Ramos given a red in his second start at PSG
Ramos is one of the greatest Real Madrid players of all time — and one of the game’s greatest defenders from this point of view, but his being shown a red card will also bring back a few memories.
Sergio Ramos received a red card in his third game for PSG— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 22, 2021