Mathieu: Benzema is discreet

The Barcelona defender has praised his compatriot’s ability to pick his moment and prove decisive in the biggest games

Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu has praised his France team-mate Karim Benzema after the two went head-to-head in Saturday’s Clasico.

Benzema expertly finished a brisk counter-attack to score Real Madrid’s second as they saw off Mathieu’s Barca 3-1 at the Bernabeu.

And Mathieu says the 26-year-old former Lyon hitman once again proved his ability to pick his moment and prove decisive in the biggest games.

“He knows how to be discreet enough in these sorts of games, and then he appears at the right time,” Mathieu told RMC Sport.

“Madrid pressed and pushed in the first half, and he hit the uprights. He knows how to pop-up when required, is always available for his team and works very hard.”

Benzema now has four goals in seven liga appearances to add to his four in three Champions League outings.

Barcelona were unbeaten in eight games and hadn’t conceded a single goal prior to Saturday’s showdown.

The victory saw Madrid leapfrog Valencia into second place in la liga, just one point behind Barca.

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