With a Panenka-style hand penalty, Real Madrid’s star striker Karim Benzema was given the chance to reach the final of the Champions League in a 3-4 win at Manchester City on Tuesday evening. “It’s unbelievable what he’s playing this season,” said ÖFB star David Alaba, who, however, stayed in the dressing room due to injury. The Viennese promised that he would “do everything” to be able to play in the second leg next Wednesday.
After his hat-trick against Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16 and his four goals against holders Chelsea, Benzema was once again the match-winner in his 600th game for Real. The 34-year-old Frenchman once again pulled off a brace after scoring in the 33rd minute. Vinicius Junior scored the third goal for the foreseeable Spanish champions (55th). Manchester City dominated the game and were consistently in the lead with goals from Kevin De Bruyne (2′), Gabriel Jesus (11′), Phil Foden (53′) and Bernardo Silva (74′).
With nine goals in the knockout games of this Champions League season, Benzema is almost single-handedly responsible for Real reaching the final of the premier class for the first time since 2018. With a total of 14 goals so far, Benzema has also surpassed Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of 17 CL goals in the 2013/14 season.