Benzema And Vinicius Nets Braces In Real Madrid's Massive Win Over Valencia, While Barcelona Draw

Real Madrid cruised to a massive victory against Valencia on Saturday night as they extend lead at the top of La Liga. 

Most in-form striker Karim Benzema open scoring just a minute before the end of an intense first-half, having successfully converted a penalty earned by Casemiro at the Santiago Bernabeu.

It was the French international's 16th La Liga goal of the season, and 300 club goals for Madrid .

He also helped set up Vinícius Junior to double the lead 7 minutes into the second half after the Brazilian winger raced past several defenders. 

Vinicius who missed last weekend shocking 1-0 defeat to Getafe due to Covid, scored his second on the night through a deflected Marco Asensio's shot, allowing him finish off a rebound to make it 3-0 in the 61st minute.

Valencia fought for a comeback, but could only manage to get a consolation after Ferland Mendy brought Marcos Andre down in the box to award them a penalty.

Goncalo Guedes penalty strike was saved by Thibaut Courtois, but he nodded in the rebound to pull one back for the visitors.

Benzema further went on to secure Real's victory with stunning fourth goal with two minutes to play, making it a 4-1 result at full-time.

The 34-year-old has now has 301 total goals for Real and only trails Cristiano Ronaldo, Raul and Alfredo Di Stéfano in the club’s all-time list of top scorers.

"I have always felt good with Vinícius. I know his potential and that he can do even more," Benzema said after his 301st goal for Madrid.

"It is a source of pride to reach such number of goals with this club, it makes me fell very happy.

"For me this is the greatest club in the world."

The result means that Carlo Ancelotti's side, are right on course to reclaim the league title from Atlético Madrid, as they are now 27 games unbeaten at home in La Liga.

The Los Blancos extend their lead at the top of La Liga to eight points ahead of second place Sevilla who have two games in hand and face Getafe on Sunday.

Valencia on the other hand, are in ninth place after 20 matches this season.

Meanwhile, Ten-man Barcelona conceded a late goal to draw at Granada 1-1 after Dani Alves set up the opener in his first league match since returning to the club.

The 38-year-old Alves curled in a long ball for Luuk de Jong to steer home with a header in the 57th.

But Granada poured forward after teenager Gavi Páez got his second booking with 10 minutes left. Antonio Puertas scored the 89th-minute equalizer with Barcelona hemmed in in its box.

Alves, who helped Barcelona win 23 titles from 2008-16, started his second stint on Wednesday as third-tier side Linares was beaten 2-1 in the Copa del Rey.

Barcelona was left in sixth place after missing the chance to climb into third and the Champions League spots.

"We are angry and frustrated because we let two vital points slip away," coach Xavi Hernández said.

"The sending off obviously changed the match, but we were already making too many mistakes, losing too many silly balls. It may be due to the lack of experience of our young players, but it is proving difficult for us to maintain possession when we need to."

Barcelona next heads to Saudi Arabia to play a clásico against Madrid on Wednesday in the semifinals of the Spanish Super Cup. Atlético and Athletic Bilbao are in the other semifinal.

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