The Frenchman has found goals hard to come by in the current campaign, but returned to form with a first-half double in the Champions League
Karim Benzema was left celebrating a new Real Madrid landmark on Wednesday as he scored his 200th goal for the Spanish giants against Viktoria Plzen.
Benzema’s form has been questioned in 2018-19, as a fine start to the season led to an acute goal drought as results turned sour at the Santiago Bernabeu.
A catastrophic run of form in La Liga led to coach Julen Lopetegui losing his job, with Santiago Solari drafted in as interim boss.
And, after drawing another blank at the weekend in Solari’s Liga debut victory over Valladolid, Benzema returned to scoring ways in the Champions League.
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The Frenchman struck early on Wednesday to put Madrid 1-0 ahead against the Czech team, in a game crucial to their hopes of making it through to the last 16.
It was his first since the corresponding fixture on October 23 against the same opposition, and only his second in the last 12 outings.
The goal also marked Benzema’s double century for Madrid, with whom he has starred since moving from Lyon in June 2009.
Benzema needed 428 games to reach 200, a ratio of just under a goal every two matches, with 46 coming in the Champions League.
And he wasted no time in pushing his tally to 201 as Madrid ran rampant in the Czech Republic.
Casemiro added Madrid’s second of the evening before the striker swooped again, Gareth Bale hitting another to send his side into half time with a 4-0 advantage.
If the result holds, qualification to the next round will be sealed with a win in either of the side’s two remaining Group G fixtures, thanks to Roma’s defeat of Madrid’s rivals CSKA Moscow in Wednesday’s earlier kick-off.