In the midst of an extraordinary year, real Madrid star Karim Benzema added to his reputation as a giant assassin with a hat trick to defeat his rival Barcelona in the semifinals of the Copa del Rey.

The French striker escaped with the Ballon d’Or award in October based on their uncanny prowess on the biggest stage of knockout games, a trend that continued in Wednesday’s 4-0 win over Barca.

Real Madrid entered the second leg at Camp Nou trailing 1-0 against the La Liga leaders, but Benzema decimated Barcelona’s defense with three second-half goals. The striker scored his first goal in the 50th minute after Vinícius Júnior opened the scoring in first half discount.

Then Benzema added a penalty in minute 58 that silenced the Camp Nou.

Benzema was clinical with his third goal to cap off the 30-minute treble and seal the victory with a 4-1 aggregate. The performance marked Benzema’s second consecutive game with a hat trick after Real Madrid defeated Real Valladolid at the weekend.

It was a familiar sight for Real Madrid fans after the way Benzema trashed Europe’s top clubs in Champions League knockout matches last season. Facing a one-way deficit PSG in the round of 16 last season, a hat-trick from Benzema sent Real Madrid to face Chelsea. Another hat-trick from Benzema, this time in the first legsent Real to the semi-finals against Man City, where the Frenchman scored three goals in the two games.

The next step for Real Madrid in their Champions League title defense will be a meeting with a fledgling Chelsea who have just sacked their second manager of the season. And after knocking out his file, Madrid will face Osasuna in the Copa del Rey final.

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