Real Madrid's Zinedine Zidane: Karim Benzema has responded well to stiff competition from Gonzalo Higuain

The former France international has taken the time to praise the Los Blancos striker, who scored against Lyon, for his reaction to the Argentine's impressive performances
Real Madrid sporting director Zinedine Zidane has hailed Karim Benzema for his response to the increased competition for places at Santiago Bernabeu.

The France international faces stiff competition from Gonzalo Higuain for the position of lone striker, particularly after the Argentine netted two hat-tricks during Benzema's absence due to injury.

Nevertheless, the Frenchman returned to action in the Champions League Group D win over Olympique Lyonnais on Tuesday and capped a strong performance of his own with a goal.

"He knows that there is extra pressure to perform, because we have another striker [Higuain] who knows how to score as well," Zidane told RTL.

"He has responded very well though. He has a lot of quality and has really grown. His good performances are the result of hard work and are not a coincidence."

The 23-year-old attacker has so far scored three goals in five La Liga appearances this term.