Benzema continues scoring spree as Real moves to second
Benevento dented Juventus’s Serie A title hopes on Sunday when Adolfo Gaich’s second-half strike sealed a shock 1-0 victory here and ended the relegation battler’s 11-match winless run.
The Argentine pounced on a careless pass from Juve midfielder Arthur Melo to fire in the decisive goal after 69 minutes, and the toothless host failed to find a way past goalkeeper Lorenzo Montipo.
The defeat left champions Juve in third place, 10 points behind leader Inter Milan with 11 games remaining.
Benevento’s survival hopes were boosted as they moved seven points clear of the relegation zone in 16th position.
Elsewhere, Atalanta drew level with Juve on 55 points and strengthened its grip on fourth place with a 2-0 win at Hellas Verona.
Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema twice combined with teammate Toni Kroos to continue his insatiable scoring run as his side earned a 3-1 win away to Celta Vigo on Saturday to move to second in the LaLiga behind Atletico Madrid.
Benzema curled a shot into the bottom corner to give Real the lead in the 20th minute after being released by a fine piece of play from Kroos, who danced past a defender before taking out three more with a pass into the feet of his team mate.
Kroos was again involved for the second goal arriving on the half-hour mark, winning the ball back on the edge of the box and allowing Benzema to dribble across the box and score his eighth goal in six matches in all competitions.
Santi Mina headed Celta back into the game in the 40th minute following a free kick. It took a strong save from keeper Thibaut Courtois to prevent Iago Aspas levelling in the second period.
Real found a third deep in stoppage time when Benzema crowned his exceptional display by sending in a cross to Marco Asensio, who walked the ball over the line.
Real moved up to second in the standings and closed the gap with Atletico to three points, although the leaders host Alaves on Sunday. Celta are 11th on 34.
Brighton & Hove Albion took a stride towards Premier League safety and left Newcastle United deep in the relegation mire after a 3-0 home victory in the basement battle on Saturday.
The results: Serie A: Juventus 0 lost to Benevento1 (Adolfo Gaich 69); Hellas Verona 0 lost to Atalanta 2 (Malinovskyi 33-pen, Zapata 42)
LaLiga: Getafe 1 (Unal 60) drew with Elche 1 (Milla 20).
Bundesliga: Hoffenheim 1 (Bebou 39) lost to Mainz 2 (Glatzel 1, Kohr 41); Hertha Berlin 3 (Zeefuik 4, Cunha 26, Cordoba 33) bt Bayer Leverkusen 0.
Saturday: Premier League: Brighton 3 (Trossard 45+3, Welbeck 51, Maupay 68) bt Newcastle 0.
LaLiga: Celta Vigo 1 (Mina 40) lost to Real Madrid 3 (Benzema 20, 30, Asensio 90+4); Huesca 0 drew with Osasuna 0; Valladolid 1 (Orellana 44-pen) drew with Sevilla 1 (Bounou 90+4).
Serie A: Spezia 2 (Piccoli 49, Maggiore 80) bt Cagliari 1 (Pereiro 83).
Bundesliga: Schalke 04 0 lost to Borussia Monchengladbach 3 (Stindl 15, Lainer 63, Roennow 72).
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