Karim Benzema scored two goals and scored another to lead Real Madrid to a 3-0 victory over Cadiz in the Spanish league in the team’s first game after the implosion of the proposed Super League.
Cadiz players wore T-shirts before the match condemning the Super League, which was offered by some of the best European clubs on Sunday, but essentially folded for days. Madrid President Florentino Perez was one of the key figures behind the proposal.
Alvaro Odriozola also scored as Madrid pulled even with Atletico Madrid, who have a match against Huesca on Thursday. Madrid, who are ahead of Atletico in terms of tiebreak, directly lost their positions last weekend after being held for a draw in Getafe.
Benzema opened the scoring in the 30th minute by converting a penalty awarded through a video review. The French striker then headed Odriozola with a well-placed cross in the 33rd and added the third with a header in the 40th for his 21st goal in the league, losing two behind the leader of Lionel Messi from Barcelona.
“I am very happy with the way Benzema is playing, not only because of his goals,” said Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane.
“We enjoyed his performances.”
Madrid were left without several players due to injuries and removals, including captain Sergio Ramos and midfielder Federico Valverde, who tested for coronavirus.
Earlier, Sevilla beat Levante 1-0 to move to third place and keep their chances for the title alive.
Youssef En-Nesiri scored at the beginning of the second half to give Sevilla a fourth consecutive victory – and the sixth in their last seven league games.
“We will continue to fight for the league title,” said An-Nesiri.
“We have six games left.”
Julen Lopetegui’s team reached 67 points, three behind Atletico and Madrid. In fourth place, Barcelona, which hosts Getafe on Thursday, trailed by two points. Sevilla have been unbeaten in seven games since being eliminated by Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League round of 16 in March.
This was the second consecutive loss for Levante, who remained 12th in the standings.
Players from Sevilla and Levante also entered the match in Valencia with shirts criticizing the Super League. The same happened in other matches on Wednesday.
The new league has largely failed after widespread criticism in the world of football, although Madrid and Barcelona have not yet officially announced that they are abandoning the project. The other 10 founders dropped out.
The Spanish league has continued its campaign against the new competition despite a local court order banning action against the proposed league.
Among the actions of the Spanish league was a video calling on the teams to “win it on the field!” The announcements were accompanied by the Champions League logo at the end and the words “football is for the fans”.
Osasuna beat Valencia 3-1 for their third straight victory, moving to eighth place. Valencia, without a win in four games, remained 14th, seven points from the relegation zone.
In fifth place, Real Betis, playing with 10 men for most of the match, held Athletic Bilbao to a 0-0 draw at home, while Alaves beat sixth-placed Villarreal 2-1 and Elche drew 1-1 with Valladolid.