Arsene Wenger says Karim Benzene’s weight loss is key to Real Madrid revival

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Arsene Wenger says Karim Benzema's incredible form this season is due to his weight loss after the Real Madrid striker bagged a dramatic winner against Manchester City as they reached the Champions League final on Wednesday night.

Benzema's form this season has been sensational, having bagged 43 goals in 43 games for Los Blancos across all competitions. The French striker also equalled a record set by Cristiano Ronaldo for most goals in a Champions League knockout campaign (ten).

Former Arsenal boss Wenger was full of praise for Benzema while covering the game on Wednesday night, and compared him to the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robert Lewandowski. Wenger also curiously claimed that his impeccable form can be credited to his pre-season weight loss.

"I would say he's a demonstration of intelligence and efficiency," Wenger said. "Everything he does is intelligent and it looks simple. When I see him play, I think I could do the same. But we know all that he does is exceptional, and he always uses the right surface to be the more efficient.

"He slows down to accelerate, he accelerates and slows down so he [reads] the rhythm of the game like nobody else. It is something interesting you see across Europe now, it's the older strikers, are the most efficient.

"[Robert] Lewandowski, [Karim] Benzema, [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, all these players, they score goals at 40, 45 but the best strikers in Europe are all over 35-years-old.

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"They use every mistake of the opponent, and Benzema, until 30, I think he had two, three kilos too many, now he's a real athlete and that's why today certainly, he's one of two, three best strikers in the world."

Madrid had lost 4-3 at the Etihad in the first leg tie, as City carried the lead to the Bernabeu. Pep Guardiola's side however, seemed to have all under control, dealing effectively with the home side's threats. Their efforts were eventually paid off in the second half, through Riyad Mahrez who struck to double City's advantage.

But their hopes would come crashing down, as the 13-time Champions League winners, produced a late two-minute comeback to put matters level and send the game to extra-time. Karim Benzema then sealed the result with a third from the penalty spot.

Carlo Ancelotti's side will now face Liverpool in the Champions League final on May 28, as the Reds will be keen to get revenge from the 3-1 defeat suffered against Los Blancos in the final of 2018.

  • Manchester City FC
  • Champions League
  • Real Madrid FC

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