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Karim Benzema produced a stunning first-half display against Chelsea to put Real Madrid in full control of their Champions League quarter-final first leg at Stamford Bridge.
Benzema scored two headers in the space of three minutes as Madrid threatened to run riot in west London.
The France international had starred in the previous round of the competition, scoring a quick-fire hat-trick at the Bernabeu to knock out Paris Saint-Germain.
And he picked up where he left off against PSG, with another masterclass in movement and finishing against Chelsea.
Real Madrid started the match brightly and could have taken the lead early on when Vinicius Jr hit the bar.
But the Spanish side didn’t have to wait long for their opening goal.
On 21 minutes, Vinicius Jr exchanged a neat one-two with Benzema on the left wing before delivering an inch-perfect cross for the French striker to direct an unstoppable header past Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
Two minutes later, it was 2-0 to Madrid.
This time, Luka Modric swung a cross in from the right wing for Benzema to direct another perfectly placed header across goal and past Mendy’s despairing dive.
BT Sport commentator Darren Fletcher summed it up perfectly: “He’s unstoppable!”
Chelsea fought their way back into the match before half-time. Kai Havertz equalising with a header of his own five minutes before the interval.
Someone remind Benzema this is not 2nd leg 😂😂— Miraaj Khan (@iam__wazir) April 6, 2022
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What a season @Benzema is have. Actually, what a career he’s having. A master of his craft.— Gary Lineker 💙💛 (@GaryLineker) April 6, 2022
Karim Benzema is the best player in the world, no doubt.— TC (@totalcristiano) April 6, 2022
3 - Karim Benzema has become the first player ever to score a European hat-trick against Chelsea, with the Frenchman scoring his three goals after just 46 minutes of the game. Genius. pic.twitter.com/L57UMw8xwl— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 6, 2022
But the home side were lucky not to concede another goal just moments before the break.
With possibly his only mistake of the half, Benzema somehow managed to direct a shot wide of the post when through on goal.
But just 46 seconds into the second-half, he would get his hat-trick.
After capitalising on an uncharacteristic mistake from Mendy, Benzema calmly slotted the ball into an open net to take his tally for the season to 37 goals.
An absolutely incredible return for the 34-year-old striker.
Featured Image Credit: BT Sport
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