Los Blancos enjoyed a stellar seven days that saw them beat Sevilla at the Sanchez-Pizjuan, qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League by seeing off Borussia Monchengladbach and halve their gap to Atletico Madrid by winning the Madrid derby.
Madrid, by contrast, were sitting in third before kick-off, and would go level on points with both Atletico and league leaders Real Sociedad should they secure victory.
“It was an important game,” Benzema said in comments carried by Diario AS after the final whistle.
“We defended and attacked as a team. [Athletic] also played well and got behind us, and it was difficult to break their defensive block. It was a game where patience was important.
The Frenchman shrugged off praise of his header. “I work on them in training,” he said. “A striker has to do everything. It’s good for me and for the team.”
“We’re physically fit. There are many players. We work little [on the training pitch] because there’s so many games. The most important thing is our heads and our mentality.”
Featured image courtesy of Twitter.