Benzema Brace Maintains Real’s Perfect Start to La Liga

Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale each scored in a 4-1 thumping of Leganes on Saturday as Real Madrid maintained their perfect start to La Liga.

Benzema grabbed a double in the second half and might have sealed his hat-trick had Sergio Ramos passed on the penalty he scored after a foul on Marco Asensio.

Bale had earlier broken the deadlock with a smart half-volley off a cross from Danny Carvajal, which was briefly cancelled out by Leganes’ Guido Carrillo, who converted his own spot-kick to ensure Thibaut Courtois’ first Madrid contribution was to pick the ball out of his own net.

Keylor Navas was named last season’s best goalkeeper by Uefa on Thursday but was only deemed second choice here by Lopetegui, who handed Courtois his debut after joining from Chelsea earlier this month.

Luka Modric, who was named UEFA Best Player, took the place of Isco, in a midfield three with Casemiro and Toni Kroos. Bale and Asensio supported Benzema up front.

Rejuvenated under their new coach Julen Lopetegui and, perhaps, liberated by the absence of Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema sizzled again at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Bale now owning three goals and Benzema four from the first three La Liga games of the season.

Los Blancos continue to make a smooth transition after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo – who once again fired blanks as Juventus won 2-1 at Parma.

Lopetegui’s men have now taken maximum points from their opening three fixtures, hardly a small feat given this time last year they were already five behind eventual champions Barcelona.

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