Eden Hazard scored his first goal in almost three months and Karim Benzema bagged a brace as Real Madrid hammered Deportivo Alavés 4-1 in La Liga on Saturday evening at Estadio de Mendizorroza.
Madrid won the away match in the absence of their head coach Zinedine Zidane, who tested positive for Covid-19 the day before as assistant coach David Bettoni took charge of the team instead.
The victory eased the pain of Wednesday’s shock 2-1 defeat to third-division Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey as well as their Spanish Super Cup loss to Athletic Bilbao.
“Zidane was very delighted with the team’s attitude and the way they played. I congratulated the players as he would have done. There’s nothing special. Every game is a different story. I’m pleased to get the three points and for the team’s performance,” said Bettoni.
The Spanish giants move to 40 points, closing the gap with leaders Atletico Madrid to four. But Diego Simeone’s side have two games in hand and can restore their advantage at the top to seven points when they play Valencia on Sunday.
“The decision to replace Hazard with Vinicius Jr. was to offer us a more direct threat. He performed well for the 63 minutes he was out there. He’s fine and bringing Vini on was just because we wanted to freshen things up,” added Bettoni.
“Eden has had a tough time of things with injuries over the past season and a half, but we’ve got to be patient with him.
“It’s true that in the world of football and at Real Madrid patience is hard to come by, but we’ve got great faith in Eden. He put in a great performance tonight and got an assist and a goal. We saw flashes of Hazard at his best tonight and we’ll come to see that now in every game,” concluded Madrid’s assistant coach.
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By FARPost Reporter