Karim Benzema’s audacious penalty kick gave the Blancos a lifeline in their Champions League semi-final against the Premier League champions.
Karim Benzema has explained why he took a high-risk Panenka penalty in Real Madrid’s 4-3 defeat to Manchester City.
Benzema scored twice in a thrilling match at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night, including the game-winning goal that gives the Blancos genuine hope of a comeback in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final tie.
The veteran striker showed steely nerves from the penalty spot to chip the ball down the middle, increasing his season tally to 41 goals.
What did Karim Benzema think of Karim Benzema’s Panenka Penalty?
Benzema missed two penalties in Madrid’s most recent Liga match against Osasuna, but those misses did not shake his confidence or prevent him from stepping up on Europe’s biggest stage again.
When asked why he decided to try a Panenka against Manchester City, the 34-year-old told reporters after the game, “I always have it in my head that if you don’t take a penalty, you will never miss a penalty. That’s mental confidence and that’s all. I have a lot of confidence in myself, so I do it and it turns out well.”
Carlo Ancelotti, the manager of Real Madrid, was full of praise for Benzema after his latest performance, and he also revealed that the Frenchman practiced the new penalty technique prior to the trip to Manchester.
“I think he changed because the last two penalties were not good,” said the Italian tactician. “He tried in training, I didn’t know how he would shoot. He chose this [Panenka] and he did really well, showing strong personality and character. It’s not easy in the semi-final of the Champions League to shoot a penalty like this.”
Benzema will almost certainly lead Madrid’s attack again when they host Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabeu on May 4.