Real Madrid returned to LaLiga with a win to bounce back from their 3-2 defeat to Rayo Vallecano before the World Cup break thanks to a 2-0 victory over Valladolid on Friday night.
The victory, courtesy of two goals from Karim Benzema, extended a run of four consecutive away wins against Valladolid, now seven unbeaten, to prolong a record streak of form against the Pucelanos.
Here are three stats which help to delve into the details of Real Madrid’s final fixture of the 2022 calendar year.
20: LaLiga penalties scored by Karim Benzema (from 25 attempts)
Not only did Karim Benzema score his first brace since August, but he also scored his 20th penalty for Real Madrid in LaLiga, putting him in joint-eighth place in the all-time standings level with Luis Figo.
Ahead of him stand Cristiano Ronaldo (61), Hugo Sánchez (35), Míchel (28), Juanito (23), Fernando Hierro, Pirri and Ferenc Puskás (all 21 each). His five misses in the competition leave him joint-second with Pirri and only behind Cristiano, who had 11 despite his impressive 84.8% conversion rate.
This strike in the 83rd minute takes Benzema’s conversion rate to 80% and also gives him a real morale boost after missing his last attempt against Osasuna earlier this season.
The goal also gave Real Madrid the lead before later adding a second, just as was the case when Benzema scored from the spot against Jordi Masip at the Estadio Municipal José Zorrilla in a 4-1 win in March 2019.
This season has been unusual from the penalty spot for Real Madrid with four takers (Benzema, Eden Hazard, Luka Modrić and Rodrygo Goes) being the highest in any single campaign since 2017/18, when there were seven takers across 18 penalties in all competitions.
71.69%: Real Madrid’s win rate from the 2022 calendar year
That covers 38 wins from 53 games in the calendar year, equivalent to more than one every single week of the year.
In LaLiga, that rate is slightly lower at 70.59%, but reflects the general trend throughout the year. It’s been a 12 months in which Real Madrid have taken on all those who have come before them both domestically and across the continent.
There were 9 defeats in 2022, to Getafe, Athletic Club, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester City, Atlético Madrid, RB Leipzig, and most recently, Rayo Vallecano. Remarkably, three of those were first leg defeats where a second leg comeback made up for it, while two more came in dead rubbers with the title and knock-out qualification already secured.
By avoiding defeat to Valladolid, Real Madrid have gone a full 12 months without a defeat in LaLiga outside of the Comunidad de Madrid region, with the last such loss coming to Espanyol in Catalonia on October 3rd, 2021.
Add in the LaLiga title, the Champions League, a Spanish Super Cup and a European Super Cup, and it’s been quite the 12 months for Real Madrid.
203: Dribbles by Vinícius this season, second only to Kylian Mbappé in Europe’s top five leagues
Madridistas have come to know what to expect from Vinícius Júnior, the Brazilian magician who loves to entertain. The stats back it up too, as he reached the landmark figure of 200 dribble attempts for the season and continued to press on, attempting four dribbles on the night to take the total to 204 dribbles for the season.
That is second only to PSG’s Kylian Mbappé, with the World Cup finalist having registered 207 dribbles to date this season. Real Madrid’s man has averaged a higher 10.37 dribbles per 90 this campaign, compared to Mbappé’s 9.96, but Mbappé’s overall tally is higher owing to minutes played.
What is intriguing is to go beyond the attempts to the number of dribbles completed. Against Valladolid, only one dribble was completed from five attempts, far below his season average is a 45.1% completion rate. When compared to the Frenchman, Mbappé’s is slightly higher at 48.3%.
On this occasion, Vini came up against 18-year-old right-back Iván Fresneda. A product of La Fábrica, he has caught the attention of many of Europe’s top clubs, including Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, Milan, Inter and Juventus, according to Diario AS.
Fresneda fared well in the battle with five tackles won being three more than any other player on the pitch. With seven recoveries, he looked to prevent the ball getting to Vinícius, but was beaten by the Brazilian’s dribbling on one occasion.