It goes without saying: So many Real Madrid fans were at least a little worried when Karim Benzema stepped up to take a crucial penalty against Manchester City last night as he had recently missed two in one game against Osasuna.
But doubt (arguably) the greatest striker in French football history at your own peril. Benzema, with cojones Sergio Ramos would be proud of, stepped up and dinked it into the net Panenka style while sending Ederson the wrong way.
“I always get it into my head that if you don’t take the penalty, you don’t miss the penalty,” Benzema said after the game. “I have a lot of confidence in myself, I do it and it’s fine,”
While Carlo Ancelotti said after the game he didn’t know Benzema didn’t know he’d try the Panenka; Rodrygo says several players knew.
“He was doing these in training,” Rodrygo said after the game. “And the people who were on the bench already knew that he was going to do it.”
Benzema, who played his 600th game for the club last night, equalling the great Paco Gento, scored a crucial penalty in that moment, and Real Madrid go into the second leg with some hope despite the loss.