Goal-starved Benzema backed by new Real Madrid boss Solari despite scoring struggles

The Frenchman has not found the back of the net in eight league games for the Blancos, but his caretaker boss has hailed him as a key player

Real Madrid caretaker boss Santiago Solari has backed “incredible” Karim Benzema to help his side recover from their lacklustre start to the season, despite the forward’s failure to end his La Liga goal drought.

Los Blancos needed two goals in the last 10 minutes from Vinicius Jr and Sergio Ramos to secure a 2-0 victory against Real Valladolid , their first win in the top flight for six matches.

Benzema, however, failed to get himself on the scoresheet once more, making it eight league games without a goal now for the 30-year-old.

The France international has scored seven goals in 16 matches across all competitions this season but only four of them have come in La Liga, with none since a brace against Leganes on September 1.

But interim coach Solari, who has taken the reins at the club following the dismissal of Julen Lopetegui, gave praise to his misfiring striker and hailed his contribution in helping get back to victorious ways.

“I'm not the one who is going to ‘discover’ him. He was liked by the previous managers and he's an incredible player,” the manager addressed reporters following his side’s victory.

"He's got incredible tactics, he makes his team-mates better and he worked very hard also in defence which I think are fantastic characteristics which say a lot about him."

Solari also hailed the dedication of his side to earning their win, following criticism of their performances under Lopetegui over the opening months of the new season.

“I want to be positive, not negative,” he added. “I'd love to win every game 7-0 but I know how football is.

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“It is tough and there are moments when the dynamics are better, times when things are delicate and require order, commitment, focus, impetus and competitive desire. Today we showed all of those things.

“We were patient, persistent and didn’t give up right to the end. We stayed organised in a finely-balanced game.”

Madrid now return their attention to the defence of their Champions League title as they travel to Viktoria Plzen midweek for a Group G clash on November 7.