Kareem Benzema scored a brace to power Real Madrid to a 2-1 victory over Villarreal, earning Los Blancos their 34th LaLiga Santander title on Thursday night at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano in Madrid.
Benzema who has been Los Blancos’ most in-form player since the resumption of football,fittingly was the hero with a goal in each half to give Real their 10th win in 10 matches and their first domestic league title since 2016/17.
The big news from coach Zinedine Zidane’s starting XI ws the inclusion of Eden Hazard, while Rodrygo was also in the fold up top with Benzema. otherwise, it was all the expected names and faces, with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos accompanying Casemiro in Midfield.
The high pressure being exerted by Real was suffocating Villarreal and a costly mistake was just a question of time. It came right before the half-hour mark when Casemiro stepped to force a turnover , allowing Modric to break and find Benzema, who rifled in a shot from the side of the area for a 1-0 lead.
Zidane turned to his Bench in hopes of finding the second goal to sink the Yellow Submarine, summoning Asensio and Vinicius for Hazard and Rodrygo,respectively.
Ramos drew a penalty on the very of the Villarreal area, which was confirmed by VAR, but on the spot kick Ramos cheekily played a pass for Benzema to fire into the goal.
The only problem was that Benzema had entered the area before Ramos had touched the ball, requiring a re-kick. Ramos then made way for the French striker, who hammered in his effort to make it 2-0.
Villarreal never threw in the towel though and pulled a goal back with pinpoint service from Gerard Moreno for Vicente Iborra, who spun a header that beat Courtois and deflected in off the post to cut the Real advantage to 2-1.
Isco, Valverde, and Lucas Vasquez were all brought in by Zidane for Kroos, Modric and Carvajal to avoid any late drama.
In the end, just like in their previous fixture with Granada, Real Madrid would avoid any late heartbreak and erupted in celebration at the sound of the final whistle , completing their domestic conquest.