Ballon d'Or winner Benzema scores as Madrid beats Elche 3-0

Wed, Oct 19, 2022
Soccer News (AP)

Ballon d'Or winner Benzema scores as Madrid beats Elche 3-0

MADRID (AP) - Karim Benzema and referee Jesus Gil Manzano looked at each other and started to laugh.

The Ballon d'Or winner couldn't bear seeing another one of his goals being disallowed. He had already found the net twice, but neither had counted because of offside.

That third one did, though, and Madrid defeated Elche 3-0 to increase its Spanish league lead after defeating Barcelona in the first "clasico" of the season on Sunday.

Madrid opened a six-point lead over its Catalan rival, which will host seventh-place Villarreal on Thursday. It was the ninth win in 10 matches for the defending champions. Madrid remains the only unbeaten team in the league.

Benzema, who on Monday won the Ballon d'Or award for best player of the year, had his goals disallowed for offside in the sixth and 61st minutes. He also caused a David Alaba goal to be called off for being offside in the 26th. All calls came after video review.

Benzema's goal from inside the area in the 75th after a back-heel assist by Rodrygo counted, though, and the French striker could laugh about it after Manzano finally confirmed the goal.

Federico Valverde had opened the scoring from just outside the area with a shot with the outside of his left foot in the 11th.

Substitute Marco Asensio sealed the victory after another assist by Rodrygo in the 89th.

Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin, replacing the injured Thibaut Courtois, made a superb reflex save off a header by Carlos Clerc to avoid the equalizer in the 70th.

Elche, the only team yet to win in the Spanish league this season, had drawn two in a row, including at Valencia over the weekend.

SOCIEDAD KEEPS ROLLING

Mikel Merino scored in the sixth minute as Real Sociedad defeated Mallorca 1-0 at home for its eighth straight win in all competitions.

The result moved the Basque Country club to third place in the Spanish league, two points ahead of Atletico Madrid, which was held to a 1-1 home draw against Rayo Vallecano on Tuesday.

It was the fifth consecutive league victory for Sociedad.

Mallorca, winless in four league games, dropped to 15th place.

BETIS HELD

Real Betis dropped to fifth place after being held by Cadiz to a scoreless draw on the road.

Second-to-last-place Cadiz, still winless at home, has drawn four straight matches. It had its chances to pick up the victory on Wednesday but couldn't get past Betis goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

VALLADOLID'S VICTORY

Sergio Leon scored twice in a five-minute span in the second half as Valladolid defeated Celta Vigo 4-1 at home for its second win in four matches.

Roque Mesa and Joaquin Fernandez also scored for the club owned by former Brazil star Ronaldo, which moved to 11th place.

Oscar Rodriguez scored for Celta, which has lost three in a row and dropped to 13th.

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