Alaves 1-4 Real Madrid: Benzema brace spoils the centenary party in Vitoria

The Frenchman scored twice as Madrid beat Alaves easily on the day of their 100th anniversary

Francesc J. Gimeno

Karim Benzema scored twice as Real Madrid bounced back from being knocked out of the Copa del Rey with a comfortable 4-1 win at Alaves in La Liga on Saturday. 

Casemiro, Benzema and Eden Hazard were all on target in a one-sided first half as Madrid ensured Alaves' centenary ended in defeat. 

The home side did threaten to make a game of it after the break when Joselu headed home a Lucas Perez free-kick but Benzema's second goal of the night killed off any hopes of an unlikely comeback. 

The win saw Madrid strengthen their grip on second place in the table as they moved to within four points of Atletico Madrid, who have two games in hand. Alaves drop to fourth from bottom.

A Madrid victory was far from a banker going into the match after they were dumped out of the cup in midweek, losing 2-1 after extra-time to third-tier Alcoyano. 

They were also without their coach, Zinedine Zidane, in Vitoria after he tested positive for coronavirus on Friday. The Frenchman, who watched the game in quarantine at home, left his No.2, David Bettoni, in charge. 

Alaves started brightly but Madrid soon took control and were good value for their lead when Casemiro was left unmarked to nod home his fifth goal of the season from a corner in the 15th minute. 

Two quick-fire goals then moved Los Blancos out of sight before the break. Benzema finished brilliantly in the 41st-minute and then turned provider to set up Hazard for just his fourth Madrid goal in first-half stoppage-time. 

Alaves coach Abelardo Fernandez, who returned for his second spell at the club earlier this month, reacted with two changes at the interval and the hosts did briefly improve. 

Substitute Perez delivered a free-kick which was expertly headed home by Joselu but there was to be no miracle turn-around to mark the club's 100th anniversary. 

Benzema made sure of that in the 70th minute when he scored his 15th goal of the campaign -- his 10th in the league -- after collecting a Luka Modric through ball and producing another excellent finish. 

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