Photographic proof that even Man City fans were wowed by Karim Benzema – Thick Accent

A seven-goal thriller at the Etihad Stadium was exactly what the doctor ordered for a Champions League semi-final. A complete game from start to finish saw Manchester City edge European royalty Real Madrid by just one goal.

Trailing by two goals in the opening twenty minutes, Los Blancos were caught off guard by City’s relentless press. But as has been the case for this season, the La Liga giants have once again turned to Karim Benzema to lift them out of their misery.

Scoring his first goal on a delicious cross from his compatriot Ferland Mendy, Benzema opened the match sheet for his team by bringing them back to the draw. The 34-year-old Frenchman has scored 14 goals in this Champions League campaign, including a hat-trick winner against star-studded side Paris Saint-Germain and capped by another subliminal hat-trick at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea in the quarter-finals.

Real’s number nine has been their ultimate savior throughout this season after taking the reins from their former legend, Cristiano Ronaldo. Benzema has scored 41 goals in all competitions this season and is set to win his fourth league title with the Spanish giants.

The Real Madrid star is brimming with confidence and his heroism has proven invaluable at every turn. After missing two consecutive La Liga penalties recently against Osasuna, Karim Benzema stepped up to take one against Ederson last night. That should have given Ederson a lot of relief as Benzema failed to convert his last two penalties against a very low-ranked side.

But Benzema had unique plans. It was not La Liga where the race was already won, but the first European competition where Real Madrid played like kings, fighting with all their might. Benzema placed the ball from the spot and launched an icy “Panenka” sending the Manchester City goalkeeper the wrong way and reducing City’s advantage to just one goal, entering the second leg of this spicy encounter. Sergio Ramos is said to have jumped excitedly on his couch.

Even City fans couldn’t resist whipping out their phones to capture the moment, as evidenced by this photo from the game which is going viral online.

City fans were impressed, as were the commentators who applauded Benzema’s audacious penalty. The Real Madrid striker had the cunning and strength to take such a penalty against someone who has been considered the best club team in the world right now by football fans.

Everything Benzema has touched this season has found the back of the net. Even after a narrow loss to City in Manchester, the Frenchman will hope his side find the right rhythm to outwit Pep Guardiola’s men when they visit the Santiago Bernabeu next week.

Benzema is ready for the challenge and so are the fans. It wouldn’t be that different from what we’ve seen from a future Ballon d’Or winner this year.

Michael E. Marquez