Karim Benzema‘s 2021/22 season will go down as one of the greatest by an individual player in the 21st century.
The Real Madrid superstar just continues to produce amazing moments and Tuesday evening at the Etihad Stadium was no different.
After scoring hat-tricks against Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea in the previous Champions League knockout rounds, Benzema notched a brace against Manchester City to keep his team alive in the semi-finals.
Real Madrid lost 4-3 on the night, but they will believe they can overturn that small deficit at the Bernabeu next week.
Benzema’s first goal came when Los Blancos were trailing 2-0 and the first-time finish by the elegant striker from Ferland Mendy’s cross was pure class.
Video: Benzema’s first goal vs Man City
He makes it look way too easy, doesn’t he? Benzema’s second goal that made it 4-3 was even better, though.
In the 82nd minute, the Frenchman took aim from the penalty spot after Aymeric Laporte handled the ball inside the box and he rippled the back of Ederson’s net with the most delicious Panenka.
It was coolness personified from Benzema and a fitting way to make it 14 Champions League goals for the season so far.
Video: Benzema’s outrageous Panenka vs Man City
Benzema is just too good and the fact he had the bottle to perform the Panenka skill after missing two penalties against Osasuna in La Liga last week says so much about his elite mentality.
Pep Guardiola‘s reaction on the touchline perfectly summed up the audacious effort from the best player on the planet right now.
Like the rest of us, he couldn’t believe what he’d just seen…
Video: Pep’s reaction to Benzema’s Panenka
Pep's reaction to Benzema's penalty 😅 pic.twitter.com/yrEp6RPrst— GOAL (@goal) April 26, 2022
We feel you, Pep.
Stopping Benzema just looks like an impossible task these days and the striker fired an ominous warning City’s way ahead of the second leg in Madrid.
“A defeat is never good,” he said after the thriller at the Etihad. “We need the fans more than ever now, but we will do something magic, and win.”
On his penalty, Benzema added: “If you don’t take penalties, you’ll never miss them. Confidence, nothing more. It’s all mental.”