Karim Benzema wore his scoring boots from last season and scored a brace against Deportivo Alaves to kick off their LaLiga campaign.
Madrid Real Madrid was able to score a brace of goals from Karim Benzema, a French veteran striker. His double laid the foundation for a 4-1 win at Alaves that left Carlo Ancelotti celebrating his second spell as manager with a victory.
Real may have lost Lionel Messi to eternal rivals Barcelona, but Real is now transitioning, having seen Zinedine Zidane step down from his role as coach. Central defensive linchpins Sergio Ramos (Sergio Ramos) and Raphael Varane depart for Messi’s PSG or Manchester United.
Even with their big names still onboard, both of Spain’s biggest clubs could not prevent Atletico Madrid from walking off with the title last season.
Real failed to find their rhythm in the first half. The returning Gareth Bale found Eden Hazard, who flicked with his heel for Benzema (skipper in Marcelo’s absence) to volley home the goal on 48 minutes.
Bale had to cancel his copybook and book a high boot, but Real – which featured David Alaba as their only new face – didn’t allow this to affect the grip they were maintained on the game.
Nacho scored from close range after a Luka Modric corner penalty on 56 minutes. Benzema made it 3-0 just after the hour. After Federico Valverde’s fine run and assist, Benzema made the game almost over.
Joselu penalties for hosts were minor issues after Thibaut Courtois made his 100th Liga appearance between Real’s posts and brought down John Guidetti.
A Vinicius header saved real’s fourth injury time.
“To call Karim a striker is not to do him justice. He is a complete player. Ancelotti stated that this was more than five years ago.
“In the first half, we lacked intensity, but Karim’s goal opened up the game. “I want to play with intensity, with or without the ball.”
Another action Saturday saw Cadiz and Levante part ways 1-1, Mallorca and Real Betis split while Osasuna-Espanyol played out a goalless match.
Atletico will defend their title Sunday at Celta Vigo, Galicia. Barcelona will begin the post-Messi era in the Camp Nou against Real Sociedad, while Sevilla hosts Rayo Vallecano.
On Monday, Villarreal will face Granada, and Elche will face Athletic Bilbao.
Valencia got the ball rolling Friday and pocketed three points after an early Carlos Soler penalty was enough to see them overcome Getafe 1-0.