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Benzema hits a sad milestone at Real

SpainMissing two chances from 11m against Osasuna on April 20, Karim Benzema became the most missed penalty kick by a Real player in a La Liga season in the past 16 years.

In the 51st minute of the match at El Sadar, Real was awarded a penalty when Ezequiel Avila blocked Rodrygo’s turn with his hand. On the 11m mark, Benzema sank to the left corner and was pushed all the way by goalkeeper Sergio Herrera. More than five minutes later, Rodrygo brought home a second penalty when he was cut down by Nacho Vidal in the penalty area. With the same angle as the first kick, Benzema continued to be unable to beat Herrera from a distance of 11m.

Benzema was frustrated after kicking his second penalty in just seven minutes against Osasuna on April 20.  Photo: AFP

Benzema was frustrated after kicking his second penalty in just seven minutes against Osasuna on April 20. Image: AFP

So, Benzema became the first player to miss two penalties in a single La Liga game, after Raúl Tamudo against Betis in April 2006. The French striker is also a Real player who misses the most penalties in a La Liga season since 2005-2006. This season, Benzema has a total of 11 penalties, and missed up to four opportunities.

Before the match against Osasuna, Benzema missed a kick in the 2-2 draw with Elche in round 22 of La Liga in January. At that time, he aimed at the top right corner, but the ball flew over the bar. That was the first time the French striker missed a penalty in La Liga. Towards the end of the game, Real received a penalty for the second time. Luka Modric took responsibility and successfully implemented, because before that, Benzema left the field to make way for Luka Jovic.

In the 2-1 win at Celta Vigo in the 30th round earlier this month, Benzema even kicked three penalties. In which, he successfully kicked two, and was blocked by goalkeeper Dituro in the 64th minute, also with a low shot to the left corner.

After Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos left respectively, Benzema took responsibility for the penalty kick Real from this season. The squandering of two penalties against Osasuna prevented the 34-year-old striker from improving his record of 39 goals in 39 games in all competitions for Real this season. In which, he scored 25 goals in La Liga, 12 in the Champions League and two in the Spanish Super Cup.

Herrera became the first goalkeeper to save two penalties in a single La Liga game, after Sergio Asenjo against Getafe in February 2018. Herrera is also the first goalkeeper to achieve this achievement in La Liga since the 2003-2004 season.

Even so, Herrera’s excellence did not help Osasuna win even a single point. Real dominated with 66% of possession time, shot 23 times, including 11 times on target and scored three goals thanks to David Alaba, Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez. Meanwhile, the homeowner only had one table thanks to Ante Budimir’s close-range buffer phase.

Osasuna 1-3 Real Madrid

The match against Osasuna 3-1 help Real touch one hand to the La Liga title. Carlo Ancelotti’s army currently has 78 points, 17 points more than defending champion Atletico. The season has five rounds left, but Real has not been officially crowned because Barca is third with 60 points and has two matches left. Real will be crowned at the weekend, if Sevilla is held back by Levante, and Barca does not win against Real Sociedad in round 33 today, April 21, and Rayo Vallecano in a round 21 match on Sunday, April 24.

The early resolution of La Liga will help Real focus on the Champions League. On April 26, they were guests at Man City in the semi-finals of the first leg, then rematched at the Bernabeu on May 4.

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