The Real Madrid striker had missed his last two penalties and four of the calendar year but showed no signs of nervousness in a Champions League semi-final
The Real Madrid striker’s two goals on Tuesday night took him to 14 in Europe this season, just three short of the record 17 set by Cristiano Ronaldo in 2013/14.
According to Alan Shearer, former Newcastle striker, Karim Benzema kept calm during Real Madrid’s 4-3 defeat by Manchester City in the most arrogant and daring way possible.
The 34-year-old scored four goals with two legs against Chelsea in the quarter-finals before scoring Madrid’s first goal at the Etihad after 33 minutes, converting a Ferland Mendy cross to hit back against City’s two early goals.
Phil Foden restored the two-goal lead before Vinicius Junior pushed them back, but Bernardo Silva’s sensational shot from the edge of the box seemed to have put the 4-2 draw out of sight.
However, a Rodri handball gave Madrid a chance to close the gap from the penalty spot and Benzema stepped up to do the honors by cheekily smacking the ball over a falling Ederson.
Some Madrid fans might have been surprised that Benzema kept the penalty penalty given his recent form from 12 yards: he saw two penalties within 17 minutes against Osasuna last week and also missed one against Celta Vigo earlier this month.
All three misses were driven deep down the keeper’s right but Benzema switched his favorite penalty against City, much to the surprise of crowds including Shearer, who scored 56 of 62 penalties he took in the Premier League during his illustrious career .
“After missing three penalties this month, all I can do is laugh and think, ‘I can’t believe Karim Benzema just did that,'” Shearer said BBC.
“The sheer arrogance, but also the faith and ability to do it. He seems to be getting better and better. The sheer audacity! It was amazing.”
Benzema himself has missed just seven non-penalty kicks and scored the other 29 in his career, but four of those errors have occurred since the turn of the year. Still, the France international laughed at the suggestion that his poor record might have forced him to reconsider his responsibilities.
“If you don’t take penalties, you never miss them,” he said afterwards.
“It’s trust, nothing more. It’s all mental.”