A brace from Karim Benzema saw Real Madrid seal a 2-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday evening.

The French striker, who recently celebrated his 34th birthday, scored both of Madrid’s goals inside the opening seven minutes at San Mames.

Madrid’s victory saw them extend their lead at the top of La Liga to eight points. Sevilla, who have a game in hand, currently occupy second spot in the table, five points clear of third-placed Real Betis.

Benzema, meanwhile, extended his lead in the race for the Pichichi – the award handed out to the top goalscorer in Spain’s top-flight each season.

The veteran centre-forward has now scored 15 goals in 18 league appearances this campaign.

And his first goal against Athletic is a contender for the best finish we’ll see all season.

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When Toni Kroos played a short pass to Benzema just inside the box, Julen Agirrezabala probably felt he had the situation under control.

But Benzema produced a truly magnificent first time curling shot past the Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper to put the visitors 1-0 up.

Video: Benzema’s stunning first goal vs Athletic Bilbao

Watch Benzema’s masterful strike here:

We can’t overstate this enough: that is *such* a sensational finish.

Let’s check out some of the best reaction to the goal from social media:

@tommybrewer92 tweeted: “Nah I don’t think you realise how good this goal is. The simplicity of it is immaculate.”

@txqn_c wrote: “Been saying for years this brother is too cold, so underrated.”

@stephmulhern7 added: “That shot isn’t even on, the man is ridiculous.”

@LukeS1991 called it: “Absolutely filth. Beautiful, disgustingly delicious filth.”

@Sherzcapone00 said: “The audacity to even attempt this let alone first time.”

While @Craig28Davies tweeted: “When you talk about best strikers in the past 10 years put his name in your mouth.”

Is Karim Benzema one of the best strikers of his era?

There’s absolutely no doubt that Benzema is one of the greatest strikers of his generation.

Since his arrival at the Bernabeu from Lyon back in the summer of 2009, Benzema has scored 299 goals in 582 goals for Real Madrid.

But all those fortunate enough to have played alongside him – in particular, Cristiano Ronaldo – will forever speak fondly about what a selfless, team player the Frenchman has been over the years.

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