Benzema doubtful for Madrid derby with thigh injury

By Sports Desk September 07, 2022

Karim Benzema is a doubt for Real Madrid's upcoming showdown with Atletico Madrid as a result of the thigh injury sustained against Celtic.

The France international hobbled off midway through the first half in Madrid's 3-0 Champions League win in Glasgow on Tuesday.

Benzema, who was considered a doubt before the game, appeared to sustain the damage – originally thought to be to his knee – when playing a pass.

Speaking after the match, Carlo Ancelotti said the injury "does not seem like anything serious", but added Madrid would await the results of a second scan.

That second scan took place at Real's Valdebebas training base on Wednesday, and it was confirmed the 34-year-old has sustained a minor muscular problem.

A statement on Madrid's website read: "Benzema has been diagnosed with an injury to the semitendinosus muscle and an overload on the quadriceps, both in the right thigh."

While no official timeframe has been given for Benzema's lay-off, reports suggest he will miss between seven-to-10 days.

Madrid host Real Mallorca and RB Leipzig over the next week, in LaLiga and the Champions League respectively, before travelling to city rivals Atletico on September 18.

Losing Benzema for any period of time will be considered a blow for Ancelotti, with his star striker having scored four goals and assisted one more in six outings this season.

He has scored and assisted 68 goals in all competitions since the start of last season – a tally bettered only by Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe across Europe's top five leagues.

Related items

  • Mikel Arteta wants Arsenal to build on the foundations laid this season Mikel Arteta wants Arsenal to build on the foundations laid this season

    Mikel Arteta has challenged Arsenal to improve and show they are the real deal again next season.

    The Gunners ended a campaign of obvious progress with a 5-0 thrashing of Wolves on the final day, which meant they finished only five points behind champions Manchester City.

    Arsenal had been top of the Premier League for 248 days before a run of two wins in eight fixtures during the closing weeks of the season saw their title quest end on the penultimate weekend.

    Finishing as runners-up behind City means Champions League football will return to the Emirates for the first time since 2017 and, while Arteta was delighted to achieve their initial goal this season, he is well aware of the work required to kick on this summer.

    “We wanted to bring the club back to the Champions League, that was the main target,” he said.

    “That was obviously a big demand in the summer before we did certain things and before we managed to keep some of our players.

    “Then the journey started and day by day, you start to have a feeling that the team is moving in the right direction and the energy and spirit is really good. Then you start to generate some belief.

    “We didn’t expect to finish where we are. I think it’s the third best record in the club, with the history of the club, the most wins ever.

    “It’s a lot but it’s still not enough to win it. We understand where the level is. If we want to be the real deal, we can’t be happy with what we have, and we have to be next season much better.

    “I think we have some great foundations, that is true but in sport you have to prove it again.

    “You have to be back in the first day of pre-season and look at each other and I don’t want to see any complacency or, ‘we’ve done really well and its OK’.

    “We are going to have to be much better. It will be a challenging season but a season with plenty of opportunities and one of those opportunities is to be consistent, to do it again and be better. This is what we have to demand from each other.”

    Gabriel Jesus was on target against Wolves with Bukayo Saka, Jakub Kiwior and Granit Xhaka also scoring, the latter netting twice in what is expected to be his final appearance for Arsenal.

    Jesus’ second-half header ensured he finished his debut campaign for the Gunners with 11 goals and he is excited about the direction the club are heading.

    He told the official club website: “It was good. Unfortunately, we didn’t win a trophy which was our target, but I think we had a good season, very good.

    “We are building a good atmosphere from inside and outside, the fans coming with us always supporting, pushing us.

    “I am so excited (for next season). I was a little bit unlucky about my injury, I missed a big part of the season but my mentality has always been my fitness and then to help my team, so next my main target is to be fit all season and help my team.”

    There remains a large degree of uncertainty for Wolves ahead of next season with boss Julen Lopetegui revealing Joao Moutinho, Adama Traore and Diego Costa could leave on free transfers due to the club’s financial problems.

    “This is a problem. You have players that you want to re-sign but you can’t because it is like a new signing in the financial terms,” the Spaniard explained.

    “I am not a financial adviser, I am a coach. We will see.

    “I know the sporting directors, they have to work very, very hard these five months and they have different targets for the squad but to execute any target, you need to know how much money you have. If not, it is impossible.”

  • Jude Bellingham named Bundesliga player of the season Jude Bellingham named Bundesliga player of the season

    Jude Bellingham has been named the Bundesliga’s player of the season.

    The England midfielder won the award just two days after his club Borussia Dortmund missed out on the Bundesliga title to Bayern Munich on goal difference.

    Bellingham has made more than 130 appearances since joining Dortmund from Birmingham for just over £20million three years ago.

    “Every year or half year that I’ve played at the club, my responsibility in the team has increased,” Bellingham was quoted as saying on the official Bundesliga website.

    “I have to continue to be everywhere on the pitch and try my best to contribute going forwards and backwards and try and control games, try to dominate the midfield.

    “My teammates, the coaches and the staff have helped me to develop.

    “I came to the club as a talented lad, but I have added elements to my game that have taken it to the next level and I think that’s down to them, mainly.”

    Bellingham, who turns 20 next month, captained Dortmund this season to become the club’s youngest-ever skipper and scored 14 goals in all competitions.

    He has been strongly linked to a move away from Germany this summer, with Real Madrid reportedly leading the race for his signature.

  • I am full of energy – Jurgen Klopp says he does not need break from management I am full of energy – Jurgen Klopp says he does not need break from management

    Jurgen Klopp insists he does not need a break from Premier League management following a disappointing campaign with Liverpool.

    The Reds missed out on Champions League qualification after finishing outside the top four for the first time in a full season under the German.

    Sunday’s thrilling 4-4 draw at relegated Southampton stretched Liverpool’s unbeaten top-flight run to 11 games but the late resurgence was not enough to make up for earlier poor results.

    Klopp, the division’s longest-serving manager, maintains he is “full of energy” and ready to revive the club’s fortunes going into the summer.

    Asked if he needs time off, the Reds boss replied: “No, no, no, not at all. Honestly, I’m completely fine.

    “If you’d asked me 11 games ago, ‘do you want to have a break?’, I would have thought about it, to be honest.

    “But I’m absolutely fine, full of energy.

    “I have a break – I don’t have training and these kind of things. But a really busy period hopefully starts now in a different area of the game. I’m more than happy to do that.

    “I will find time to reenergise and then we start again in July.”

    Liverpool’s fifth-placed finish was their lowest since they finished eighth in 2015-16 – the season during which Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers at Anfield.

    The Reds looked destined to sign off this term in style following early strikes from Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino at St Mary’s.

    But quick-fire second-half finishes from substitute Cody Gakpo and Jota were required to avoid a major shock after Kamaldeen Sulemana’s double and goals from James Ward-Prowse and Adam Armstrong turned a chaotic contest in Southampton’s favour.

    Klopp believes his club has stuck together during some difficult moments and is determined that they regain a fear factor for rival sides.

    “There is not a lot to learn (from the season) but a lot of clubs when the expectations are as high as ours when things don’t go well pretty quickly you start blaming each other,” he said. “That didn’t happen here.

    “The better you behave in a crisis, the better you get out of it – and I really thought that was the case for us.

    “We’re really, really not happy about it and for a club like us it’s massive not to qualify for the Champions League.

    “If we improve, we are all of a sudden again a team nobody wants to play against and that’s what we have to become again.

    “There were a lot of games in the season where I think teams were happy to face us. That’s actually the worst thing that can happen to you and I hated these moments. But that’s over and now let’s start again.”

    Southampton are preparing for life in the Sky Bet Championship following an exhilarating end to a dismal season.

    Saints manager Ruben Selles, who will leave the club and is likely be replaced by Swansea boss Russell Martin, conducted a performance review ahead of his departure.

    “We discussed the points we can do better, the points we need to hold,” said the Spaniard.

    “We needed to end in a professional way and that’s not a discussion because it’s not about us as a technical staff, it’s about Southampton and the information we can pass to the future people working here is key in not repeating the same mistakes.

    “If they find themselves in the same situations that we did, at least they have this footage and experience of what we did.

    “We did our review as a technical staff together. We got some conclusions for us and somebody will present it in the proper place to present it.

    “It’s not for us to decide for the future but it is for us to say what we think can be different next season.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.