Karim Benzema’s ‘magic’ gives Real Madrid the edge over Barcelona in the La Liga title race

Karim Benzema's 'magic' gives Real Madrid the edge over Barcelona in the La Liga title race
Niki J. Layton
Written by Niki J. Layton

This time Karim Benzema is offering magical help rather than at its end.

The Real Madrid The striker’s superb backhill – caught at half-volley and Espanyol defender Bernardo’s legs – found Casemiro to score the only goal in a tightly contested match.
With Barcelona Dropping the points for the second time in three games could prove to be a decisive moment in La Liga’s title race, as Real has two points clear.

When it comes to providing otherworldly help, Bezema has learned from the best in the business.

In a match against Deportivo La Coru లోa in 2010, Spanish maestro Guti – rumored to have eyes on the back of the head – set up Benjima with an ambitious backheel.

It is widely regarded as a great help from time to time … but not anymore, at least for real coach Zinedine Zidane.

“I think it’s Karimes,” the French player told reporters after the match. “It’s very recent. It’s a good team move; Sergio with his head, Kareem’s control and backhill, and then Casemiro knows that Karim can invent something. It’s a beautiful team goal.

“We know Kareem is an impressive player and he shows in every game. One player is improving all the time and the same is happening with Karim. He’s a good old man. If he looks at you at age 32 or 33, they are your best football years.

“It doesn’t surprise me, he’s a player who invents things,” he told AS. “And then there’s Casemiro. It could be one of the championship plays.”

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Benzema hailed from the Assist Gutti, who tweeted: “Magic, friend. Brutal.”

After the match, Casemiro insisted on going to Benzema throughout the credit for his goal.

He told reporters that it was a little unfair to talk about my goal after Karim. “We have to congratulate him. This is a top-notch backhill. It is common to learn about Kareem.

Benzema – who has seven assists and 17 goals in the league this season – has crossed the backheel like other assists.

“It’s football. These things come to me. I look at football like that,” he told Movistar. “I knew that Casemiro was going to run behind me and he took it well.

“It’s a good play, but the most important thing is the next goal. Casemiro gets it right.

About the author

Niki J. Layton

Niki J. Layton

Niki J. Layton is a journalist who writes on politics, environment and human rights in South Asia.

For 15 years, she has written for several publications and websites including TIME, Harper's, Al Jazeera, The Caravan, The Hindu,, Outlook, The Wire, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, The Economic Times, Tehelka, and news channel CNN-IBN. She is an India correspondent for The Straits Times, Singapore.

Some of the awards she has received are the Red Cross Award for reporting on conflict, Mumbai press award for environmental reporting, and ILO award for writing on labour. Niki has a Masters in political journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, New York

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