French striker Karim Benzema scored a hat-trick in Real Madrid’s 3-0 home win over Athletic Bilbao in La Liga on Sunday.
Benzema increased his scoring count to 21 goals in La Liga this season, the first time he has done so since 2015-2016. The Gaul now adds 10 goals in his last seven games at Madrid.
This victory left the white team, who had come from drawing away to Leganes, third with 64 points, 13 points from leaders Barcelona and four from Atletico Madrid, who is second.
Coach Zinedine Zidane once again left Gareth Bale on the bench and decided that Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio would accompany Benzema in the attack.
After a weak first half of the home team that caused some whistles of the assistants to the Santiago Bernabéu, Benzema opened the scoreboard two minutes after the break with a header behind a perfect center of Asensio.
The Frenchman increased the score 15 minutes from the end with another header after an error in the exit of the goalkeeper of Athletic Iago Herrerín.
And after another miss in Herrerin’s exit, Bale, who had entered the field in the second half, assisted Benzema for the Frenchman to complete his hat-trick with a shot from outside the area to empty goal.
“We all know how good Karim is and what he gives to this team, whether he scores or not,” Brazilian full-back Marcelo told BeIN Sports after the game. “He’s one of our leaders. I’m delighted with the goals, but I know Karim is happier with the fact that we won. We really needed a win.