What a thrilling encounter the world witnessed on Tuesday night. Real Madrid trailed by two goals three times in the first-leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinal against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. However, thanks to Benzema’s performance, the La Liga side eventually lost by a solitary in a 4-3 nail-biting encounter.
In a high-pressure situation with Real trailing 4-2 when Benzema went for the spot-kick, he decided to go ahead with a panenka kick and nailed it to perfection. Notably, the entire kick is based on the assumption that the goalkeeper will dive to either one end or the other and so this panenka penalty dips near the centre of the goal post to deceive the shot-stopper.
Benzema did just that and kept Real pretty much alive in the race to the finals.
Have a look at the penalty from Benzema here:
Karim the dream⚽ @Erniaimperator2
— Carlus (@FedexChiesa97) April 26, 2022
Later the star striker explained why he decided to go ahead with a panenka penalty.
“I always have it in my head that if you don’t take a penalty, you will never miss a penalty. That’s mental confidence and that’s all. I have a lot of confidence in myself… so I do it and it turns out well,” he said as quoted by Sky Sports.
It is pertinent to note that Benzema had missed two penalties in Real Madrid’s last fixture against Osasuna. Yet his decision to go ahead with what could be a tricky technique to execute under pressure is an indication of how he did not let the nerves get to him.
With his brace on Wednesday, Benzema has now taken his goals tally to 41 from 41 matches in the ongoing season. Vini Jr scored the other goal for Real while Kevin de Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva netted a goal each for Manchester City.