La Liga, Real Madrid win; Barcelona held: Records broken
Real Madrid extended their lead at the top in La Liga after thrashing Valencia 4-1. Veteran forward Karim Benzema struck twice for Real as they eased to a comfortable win. Real secured their 15th win of the season in La Liga. Meanwhile, Barcelona were held by Granada in a 1-1 affair. Notably, Barca were reduced to 10 men with Gavi being sent off.
- Real are the favorites to win La Liga this season and this was another massive three points for the hosts.
- Manager Carlo Ancelotti has had a strong impact since returning to the club in the summer.
- Meanwhile, Barcelona missed the chance to go third after another disappointing result.
- This has been their story this season all along.
- The inconsistency has been telling.
Benzema, who has gone past 300 goals for Real, opened the scoring with a penalty after Casemiro was fouled just before half-time. Vinicius Junior continued his superb form with two simple second-half finishes. Goncalo Guedes pulled one back for Valencia after initially seeing a penalty saved before heading in the rebound. Benzema struck again to score Real's fourth.
Barcelona saw Antonio Puertas find the top corner in the 89th minute to salvage a point for Granada. Barca had Luuk de Jong's header disallowed by the video assistant referee for offside in the first half. Dani Alves, who had a brilliant match, set up De Jong for the opener and also made a vital block moments before Granada's goal.
Karim Benzema has scored 22 goals in 25 games for Real Madrid in 2021-22 in all competitions. As per Opta, this is his second-best tally after first 25 games of the season in his career for Real (23 in 25 in 2015-16). Meanwhile, Thibaut Courtois has saved 20 of the last 23 shots on target he has faced for Real in La Liga.
Benzema has scored 301 goals in 584 appearances for Los Blancos in all competitions. He has become the fourth player to reach this milestone in the club's history, after Cristiano Ronaldo (450), Raul Gonzalez Blanco (323), and Alfredo Di Stefano (308).
Only Cadiz (7) have lost more points after conceding post the 85th minute of matches than Barcelona in La Liga this season (6). With this, Barcelona have gone level with Atletico, Getafe, Mallorca, and Granada. Meanwhile, at 17 years and 156 days, Gavi has become the second youngest player to be sent off in La Liga in the 21st century, after Marc Muniesa.