Benzema produces third hat trick of the month, 15-year-old debutant at Barcelona
Real Madrid won the home duel with Almería without much difficulty. The number two of La Liga recorded a 4-2 victory at their own Bernabéu. Almería, still fighting against relegation, appeared with a double wall of defenders, but to no avail.
Karim Benzema scored three times before the break; the 1-0 on a pass from Vinicius Júnior, the 2-0 after a beautiful action by Rodrygo near the back line and the 3-0 from the penalty spot. Lázaro then did something back for Almería with a nick in injury time of the first half.
Three hat tricks
It was the third time in April that Benzema accounted for a hat-trick. The 35-year-old Frenchman also scored three times in La Liga against Real Valladolid (6-0) and in the Copa del Rey against Barcelona (0-4).
Real Madrid made it 4-1 through a placed shot by Rodrygo shortly after halftime. Almería then let go of defensive duties more, also got a few chances and one of them was exploited: Lucas Robertone headed the ball into the top corner from close range in the 61st minute.
Leaders Barcelona answered subtopper Real Betis later in the evening with a 4-0 home win, keeping an 11-point margin ahead of Real Madrid.
Things certainly did not go smoothly for Betis: Luiz Felipe dropped out early with an injury and his replacement Edgar Gonzalez was barely on the field twenty minutes when he received his second yellow card, and Barça led 3-0 before halftime.
Andreas Christensen headed in, Robert Lewandowski slid the ball into the far corner and Raphinha outsmarted the goalkeeper with a shot through the ground.
Youngest debutant ever
An own goal by Rodriguez made it 4-0 ten minutes before time. Only 15-year-old Lamine Yamal was then allowed to make his debut for the Catalans. He thus became Barcelona’s youngest debutant in La Liga.
Yamal played with Barcelona’s talents as recently as March 1 in the match against AZ in the eighth finals of the UEFA Youth League. AZ won the game 3-0.