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Hazard finally scores again as Madrid take care of Huesca

MADRID (Reuters) - Eden Hazard scored his first goal for Real Madrid in over a year and Karim Benzema struck twice as the Spanish champions coasted to a 4-1 win at home to Huesca in La Liga on Saturday.

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Making his first start of the campaign after persistent injury problems, Hazard broke the deadlock in the 40th minute with a thunderous strike from outside the area, scoring only his second goal for Madrid since his 2019 move from Chelsea for a joint-club record fee of 100 million euros.

Zinedine Zidane’s side soon extended their lead in added time of the first half when Karim Benzema chested down a cross from Lucas Vazquez and fired inside the far post.

Federico Valverde further stretched their lead in the second half before David Ferreiro pulled a goal back for Huesca.

Benzema rounded off a classy overall display by heading home from close range in added time as the league leaders recorded their fifth win this season.

“We all know how much quality Eden has and we saw him do many good things today and he scored a great goal,” said Zidane.

“I’m very happy with his performance and the good thing is didn’t feel any discomfort out there. He was very happy about scoring the goal and so were his team mates.

“The goal was just what we needed as it changed the game. We didn’t play perfectly today but you should always be happy when you score four goals.”

The win took Madrid back to the top of La Liga on 16 points after seven games although Real Sociedad can go above them if they beat Celta Vigo on Sunday.

After Real thumped Barca 3-1 last weekend, they had to come from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw at Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The game in Germany provided some unwanted scrutiny on the relationship between Benzema and strike partner Vinicius Jr after the Frenchman was heard bad-mouthing the Brazilian to team mate Ferland Mendy in the tunnel at half time.

Zidane opted to leave out Vinicius from the line-up against Huesca to give Hazard a first league appearance since recovering from a muscle injury although the Brazilian replaced Hazard on the hour-mark.

Vinicius and Benzema almost combined to score when the Brazilian whizzed down the left wing and laid the ball off to Benzema but the forward scuffed his shot and sent it bouncing over the bar.

Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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