Real Madrid trounced Elche with a 4-0 thrashing at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu as they returned to the Spanish capital as world champions after their victory in the Club World Cup over the weekend.
Taking on LaLiga’s bottom team, they made fairly light work of the occasion thanks to Marco Asensio’s early strike and a brace of penalties from Karim Benzema, followed up with a late fourth goal from Luka Modrić.
Here are three stats that help to understand the match.
10: The most shots Karim Benzema has ever recorded in a single LaLiga match
If Karim Benzema looked threatening against Elche, it was because he had more attempts on goal than he has recorded in any match in the history of his time at Real Madrid. In no other LaLiga game, and he’s played 427 of them before this one, has Benzema recorded more than the 10 shots he did against Elche.
Of those 10 shots, four were on target, including the two penalties that he converted, and two were saved by Édgar Badia. Another three were blocked by Elche defenders, with three more heading off target.
In total, his xG racked up to 2.46 from those 10 attempts. That means that despite scoring a brace, he still underscored his xG with several chances denied by the Elche goalkeeper and missed by the striker himself.
By scoring two goals, he also moved ahead of Raúl González Blanco as the club’s second-highest goalscorer in LaLiga with 230, leaving Raúl behind on 228. Only Cristiano Ronaldo (311) has more.
September 2015: The last time Real Madrid scored four in three consecutive games
Following on from the goalfest that was the Club World Cup, Real Madrid matched a record that hasn’t happened in almost eight years by scoring four in three consecutive matches with their thrashing of Elche.
The last time Los Blancos recorded three matches with four goals scored in each of them was back in September 2015. Bizarrely, Rafa Benítez was in charge at the time. He may not be remembered for his offensive football, but Real Madrid beat Real Betis 5-0 at home, then Espanyol 6-0 away and rounded it off with a 4-0 win at home to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.
This time, it was 4-1 against Al Ahly, 5-3 vs Al Hilal and 4-0 vs Elche. It’s been an unusual streak, coming against opposition from Africa, Asia and LaLiga’s bottom team, which has put circumstances in Real Madrid’s favour, but they have risen to the task.
Coming into this run after failing to score in two of their previous three matches with blanks against Real Sociedad and Mallorca, it has served as a confidence booster for a side that much needed one. In particular, that counts for Karim Benzema with three goals from this run, as it does for Vinícius Júnior and Fede Valverde, who scored three each at the Club World Cup but failed to get on the scoresheet against Elche.
26: Games at home against Elche without defeat, second only to Las Palmas
Perhaps a good result was something we could have seen coming given Real Madrid’s past record against Elche. In fact, the Verdiblancos have never won at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu in 26 visits, with 24 of those coming in LaLiga and two in the Copa del Rey.
This result means that the run of encounters at the Bernabéu without defeat in LaLiga now extends to 24. That is second only to Las Palmas, with 34 matches without defeat. It’s no wonder that Real Madrid are so confident heading into this encounter against Pablo Machín’s team.
Elche have not beaten Real Madrid home or away in any of the last 17 meetings in any competitions, with their last win coming in a 3-1 victory on March 5th, 1978, at the Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero in LaLiga. Last season’s draw in Chamartín was Elche’s first point taken from the Bernabéu in the league since 1975.
The biggest win in this fixture came all the way back in 1960, coincidentally for Elche’s first visit to the capital to play Real Madrid, when Ferenc Puskás scored four and Pepillo scored five in a win which ended with a score of 11-2. A year later, Puskás scored five himself in an 8-0 victory. It’s no surprise that over 60 years on, Elche continue to have nightmares about their visits to the Bernabéu.