POST MATCH: Hat trick hero Benzema seals win over Athletic Bilbao

Karim Benzema netted his first La Liga hat trick in December 2015, as Real Madrid strolled past Athletic Bilbao at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday afternoon.

The Frenchman now has 21 league goals for the season, and he is on course to beat his highest ever total of 24 La Liga goals from 2015-16, with five games to play.

In a first half short on quality in attack, Marco Asensio missed an excellent chance to open the scoring inside the opening ten minutes, as Athletic looked to contain the hosts.

Benzema had to wait until just after the restart to put Zinedine Zidane's side in front, with a powerful header from Asensio's brilliant left wing cross on 48 minutes.

He doubled their advantage on 76 minutes, stealing in at the far post he thump home another header – this time from Luka Modric's out swinging corner. 

With Athletic still pushing to get a goal in the closing stages, Benzema sealed his hat trick on the stroke of full time, curling home from 25 yards after visiting goal keeper Iago Herrerin blundered when coming out to make a clearance.