Karim Benzema scored one of the goals of the season so far as Real Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao 2-1 on Wednesday night.
The France international opened the scoring with a magnificent first-time strike from the edge of the box just three minutes into the match.
He then added a second four minutes later to stun the home crowd at San Mames.
Oihan Sancet pulled a goal back for Bilbao to cap a crazy opening 10 minutes to the match.
But Madrid held on for the win to move eight points clear of closest rivals Sevilla at the top of La Liga.
Benzema’s strike is already being touted a potential goal of the season winner.
“What a masterpiece from Benzema, a phenomenal curve shot,” wrote one fan on YouTube.
“Benzema is literally a different breed. He definitely is the main man after [Cristiano] Ronaldo’s departure,” added another.
Benzema was substituted late in the match on Wednesday and was given a standing ovation by the Basque crowd.
Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti was pleased by the reaction of the Bilbao supporters.
“That was fantastic,” said Ancelotti.
“This is a stadium with a spectacular atmosphere. It’s a true football stadium and Karim deserved that [ovation].”
Benzema shows no sign of slowing down at the age of 34 and has now racked up 20 goals in 23 appearances for Madrid this season in all competitions.
He has now scored 401 goals in his professional career and is only the second Frenchman to reach the landmark after Thierry Henry (411).
He is one goal away from becoming the fourth player to score 300 goals for Real Madrid, with only Ronaldo (451), Raul (323) and Alfredo Di Stefano (308) scoring more.
Speaking after the win over Bilbao, Benzema was quick to divert praise to his team-mates.
“I like to play games like these in a great stadium like this,” he said.
“It makes me happy but more than anything I’m proud of my team’s performance.
“We worked hard and we know it’s very tough to win here at San Mames.
“We know that we suffered and that is what happens when you’re a big team, you have to suffer at times.
“It is a very good goal and it’s very important, so I’m very happy for the team.”
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Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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