Surprising own goal by Benzema shakes up AFC Champions League match

1 month ago 153

Karim Benzema's tenure with Al Ittihad faced another setback when he netted an own goal against Navbahor.

The relationship between Karim Benzema and Al Ittihad seems to be faltering as the Frenchman once again delivered a subpar performance for the Saudi Pro League outfit. This time, it occurred during the AFC Champions League round of 16 second leg clash against Uzbekistan's Navbahor. While the first leg ended in a 0-0 stalemate, the former Real Madrid striker inadvertently scored an own goal in the second leg, nodding the ball into his own net.

Despite Benzema's mishap, Al Ittihad managed to mount a comeback and secure a 2-1 victory, thanks to goals from Abderrazak Hamdallah and an own goal from Toma Tabatadze.

Benzema's display encapsulated his struggles during his time with the Saudi club. During the January transfer window, he was linked with a surprising move to rivals Al Nassr, where his former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo plies his trade. Additionally, rumors circulated about a potential move to the Premier League.

Earlier this month, reports emerged claiming that Benzema stormed out of Al Ittihad's training session after refusing to train alone, exacerbating his ongoing rift with manager Marcelo Gallardo. According to Spanish media outlet Marca, Benzema disregarded Gallardo's instructions to undergo solitary training, leading to friction between the two. Gallardo purportedly instructed Benzema to leave group training sessions, citing concerns about his fitness level. However, Benzema countered by asserting that he completed individual training sessions during preseason.

Reports suggest that Benzema and Gallardo are currently not on speaking terms, indicating a breakdown in communication between them. The discord initially arose following Benzema's delayed return from the mid-season break. Additionally, Benzema has been linked with moves to clubs such as Manchester United and Chelsea. The former Lyon player reportedly engaged in crucial discussions with club officials, yet the issues remain unresolved.