Madrid: With Real Madrid struggling and being jeered by fans, Karim Benzema came through again for the Spanish powerhouse, scoring a pair of goals that included a milestone 1,000th for Madrid in Europe's top club competition.
Benzema's brace gave Madrid a hard-fought 2-1 win over Shakhtar Donetsk to put the team in the lead of its Champions League group on Wednesday. Benzema netted the club's milestone goal in European Cup-Champions League games after the Shakhtar defense gave the ball away less than 15 minutes into the match at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.
Fernando equalized for the visitors before halftime but Benzema got the winner in the second half in a match the hosts struggled to control and were jeered by part of the crowd at the Bernabéu.
"We didn't play well but we got the victory," Benzema said. "Sometimes you can't play at your best. The most important thing was to win the three points. It was a difficult match for us, against a very good opponent."
Madrid hadn't won at the Bernabéu in three straight matches in all competitions. It had won only five of its last 13 European games at home, with five losses and three draws.
"Sometimes it's good to hear some jeers to get the team going," Madrid coach Carlos Ancelotti said. "We weren't aggressive enough after starting well in each half." AP