Karim Benzema's dream goal and Marco Asensio's memorable return power Real Madrid - in pictures

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Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates his second goal against Valencia at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium. AFP

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, left, celebrates with his teammates after scoring his side's third goal against Valencia on Thursday. AP

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, left, scores his side's opening goal at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium. AP

Real Madrid's striker Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring the third goal against Valencia. EPA

Real Madrid's Marco Asensio also scored against Valencia on Thursday. AFP

Real Madrid's Marco Asensio, left, celebrates with Karim Benzema and Ferland Mendy after scoring against Valencia. EPA

Real Madrid's Marco Asensio, left, celebrates with his teammate Ferland Mendy after scoring at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium. AP

Real Madrid's forward Eden Hazard tackles Valencia's Hugo Guillamon. EPA

Toni Kroos of Real Madrid CF takes a free kick. Getty

Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos vies with Valencia's Eliaquim Mangala. AFP

Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos vies with Valencia's Eliaquim Mangala. AFP

Lee Kang-In of Valencia is shown a red card by referee Jose Maria Sanchez Martinez. Getty

Real Madrid's defender Raphael Varane in action at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium. EPA

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The National

June 19, 2020

June 19, 2020

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Real Madrid's Karim Benzema scored one of the goals of the season as they defeated Valencia 3-0 at home to stay in touch with La Liga leaders Barcelona.

The win took Real to 62 points after 29 games, two behind leaders Barcelona who beat Leganes 2-0 on Tuesday.

Benzema fired into the bottom corner to give Real the lead on the hour mark after inspired play by Eden Hazard, who fashioned a one-two with Luka Modric before sliding to the ground to nudge the ball into the path of the French striker.

Marco Asensio scored with his first touch since injuring his knee 11 months ago to double Real's lead in the 74th minute.

Benzema rounded off the win with a fine volley which he set up by receiving the ball in the air, flicking it from his right foot to his left and sending it flying into the top corner.

Valencia looked to have taken the lead when Rodrigo Moreno netted in the 20th minute but long after the players had celebrated the goal it was chalked off for offside against Maxi Gomez, even though the striker had not touched the ball.

The visitors faded in the second half after causing Real problems in the first and their frustrations deepened after the third goal when teenage midfielder Kang-In Lee was shown a straight red card for hacking at Sergio Ramos.

Rodrigo had struck the post before his disallowed goal while Geoffrey Kondogbia was denied by Real keeper Thibaut Courtois at the end of a frantic first half.

"We started well but after that Valencia grew into the game and we knew we had to change something and push higher up the pitch, that's what we did and we won the game," Asensio was quoted as saying by Reuters.

"I feel a lot of emotion and satisfaction but there was a lot of work behind this goal but the most important thing is that we won and I'm here for the rest of the season."

Updated: June 19, 2020 09:37 AM

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