KARIM BENZEMA was the star of the show as Real Madrid thumped Valencia 3-0.

Zinedine Zidane’s side are now just two points behind league leaders Barcelona after 29 games.

 Madrid star Karim Benzema added two goals to his tally for the season
Madrid star Karim Benzema added two goals to his tally for the seasonCredit: AP:Associated Press

But it was far from straight forward for Madrid during Thursday’s behind closed doors clash.

Valencia star Rodrigo poked the ball into the net from close range in the 22nd minute to give the visitors hope.

Following his celebrations, referee Jose Maria Sanchez Martinez raced over to the pitchside monitor.

The opening goal was then ruled out as it was confirmed Gomez was standing in an offside position when the ball was played.

Real Madrid breathed a sigh of relief and made it to half-time with the score still level.



Zidane’s half-time team talk appeared to work wonders as Madrid regained their confidence in the second half.

After some great build-up play from Eden Hazard, Benzema slotted the ball past Jasper Cillessen.

Asensio then doubled Madrid’s just seconds after he was put on the pitch in the 74th minute.

The Spaniard has been out of action since he ruptured ligaments in his left leg during a friendly against Arsenal last summer.

But he marked his return with a goal as he cleverly poked home a cross from Ferland Mendy.

 Marco Asensio made an instant impact after he was put on the pitch
Marco Asensio made an instant impact after he was put on the pitchCredit: Getty Images – Getty

 

Benzema bagged the third to put him above Ferenc Puskas as the club’s fifth highest all-time scorer with 243.

The 32-year-old received a flick from Asensio with his right boot then volleyed the ball past Cillessen with his left.

Valencia were reduced to ten men in the closing stages of the game after Lee Kang-In was sent off for hacking down Sergio Ramos.

 Lee Kang-In was given his marching orders for fouling Sergio Ramos
Lee Kang-In was given his marching orders for fouling Sergio RamosCredit: EPA

 



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