Karim Benzema has explained why he took a Panenka penalty against Manchester City in Real Madrid’s Champions League match on Tuesday. During an exciting match at the Etihad Stadium, the France international netted a brace. However, Pep Guardiola’s team has the advantage of heading into the second leg, which is set to take place at the Bernabeu on May 4.
With Real 4-2 down at the time, Benzema struck a late penalty to cut City’s lead in half and give Los Blancos hope of reaching the Champions League final.
And, speaking after the game, the France international said he took the Panenka spot-kick because he is so sure of himself.
“”We are very excited about the Champions League, so a defeat is never good,” said the former Lyon striker.
“The most essential thing is that we never lay down our arms; we’re all in this together till the bitter end.”
“Now we have to go to the Bernabeu, where we will need our fans more than before, and we will do something wonderful, which is winning.
“That’s all there is to mental fortitude. I have a lot of faith in myself… so I do it, and it works out.”
Benzema’s late goal came after the two teams had swapped punches from the start of the game.
With just 11 minutes on the clock, City jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus.
Benzema then scored for the visitors, turning a half-chance into a riotous celebration in the away end.
City recovered their two-goal lead with Phil Foden, and Vinicius Jr responded just minutes later.
While Bernardo Silva scored for Guardiola’s team, Benzema’s late penalty means everything is on the line in the second leg.
It was unquestionably an exciting night of action.
And, speaking after the game, Guardiola conceded that the game was ‘amazing,’ but lamented his team’s failure to capitalize on additional opportunities.
At the Etihad, Aymeric Laporte, Foden, and Riyad Marrez all missed chances to extend their lead.
Guardiola stated, ” “It was a terrific game for both teams.
“We did a lot of excellent things.” Unfortunately, we conceded goals and were unable to score any more. But we’ve already played two games, and we have another one coming up in a week.
“We played a great game against a great team.
“I think we allowed them the moments where they rise and come back into the game in the first half because our build-up was so jittery.”
“Normally, we’re quite safe and good. They also have a really good and strong press. We are ecstatic all over the world, and especially for Manchester City.
“But it’s about getting to the final, and football happens occasionally.” We’re going to Madrid to win the game.
“We were knocked out of the Champions League by Tottenham after Llorente’s hand injury.
“Today, it’s Laporte’s turn. It does happen. All we can do is keep doing what we’re doing.
“Real Madrid’s quality is such that they can punish you.” I can’t ask for anything more than what we’ve done with and without the ball, creating chances after chances after chances after chances after chances after chances after chances after chances after chances after chances after chances after chances after chances after chances after chances after chances after chances after chances after chances after
“I tell the guys to take it easy. Leeds is the most important thing right now, and we’re going to Madrid to win.
“Both teams want to attack and have the talent to do so. Football is a terrific spectator sport.
“Congratulations to Carlo and his crew for their outstanding performance. At the same time, we felt as capable of being there.”