Class from Benzema puts Real Madrid right on track

There’s no doubt about it, the atmosphere has changed at Reak Madrid. Viktoria started well, bold, forceful, maybe with the thinking that Madrid were still in recovery. In their third attack a clearance from Nacho came of Courtois’ cross bar. I thought once again how things had changed - under Lopetegui it was Madrid who hit the woodwork, and now it’s their posts repelling dangerous balls. Football depends on many things - sometimes this kind of thing too. Or that Aytekin, famous for that Barça-PSG, missed an elbow from Sergio Ramos on Havel, which bust his nose. A nasty move that could have, and should have, seen him sent off.

Benzema's delightful opener

But, having overcome these two hurdles, Madrid got on track thanks to a lovely bit of skill from Benzema. A beautiful goal, coming into the box with diagonal space in the area he best exploits, what used to be called the ‘corridor of the number 10’, with tricks and dribbles to open up his path until he finished between Hruska’s legs. A sensational goal that was a hammer blow to Viktoria, who had come out well and were suddenly behind thanks to a sublime bit of undefendable football. And that set the scene for the night. At the break they’d let in three more, one from Benzema, the others from Casemiro and Bale.

Solari's future at Real Madrid

Afterwards, it was all plain sailing. One more goal, from Kroos, and even a shot off the bar from Bale, to avoid anyone saying anything. That’s three games with Solari for Real Madrid: one in the Copa del Rey, one in LaLiga and one in the Champions League. In ascending order of importance we could say. Three wins, 11 goals for, none against. The football isn’t captivating, but it’s been ‘a change of die and the numbers start coming up’, as we say. Vincius is breaking through, with his bright uproarious play at the danger end. Reguilón has confirmed his status as a player of the future and suddenly everything seems possible. Solari’s caretaker status can’t go beyond the Celta Vigo game. Right now it would be a bizarre thing to bring in someone else.