Last night presented Arsenal fans with a chance to see how transfer target Karim Benzema performed in the same environment current striker Olivier Giroud performed in earlier this season.
While Benzema didn’t get on the score sheet against Bayern Munich, his side thrashed the current European champions to progress to the final of this season’s champions League.
In contrast, Giroud’s performance came in a hard earned 1-1 draw, which wasn’t enough to help the Gunners over the line against Bayern and into the quarter-finals of the competition.
We’ve taken a look at some key areas and judged the stats between the two against the same opponents.
The Real Madrid striker notched up an 85% passing accuracy, which eclipses the 68% produced by Giroud earlier in the season.
That suggests that Benzema was more precise and deadly with his passing throughout the game, important against a side that likes to control possession.
Benzema was dispossessed a substantially smaller number of times in his appearance against Bayern Munich. He lost the ball on just one occasion compared to the four times that Giroud gave away possession.
Again, it shows a little more precision in the final third against a side that don’t give the ball back quickly or easily, which allows Benzema’s team to counter attack effectively and make the most of the pockets of possession they do have.
Benzema had a 100% accuracy rating with his long balls last night, which is vital for any side that is looking to play counter attack football.
Giroud is the sole striker and the target man at Arsenal and his inability to play long balls against Bayern can also be explained, as Arsenal don’t have the same pace either side of Giroud as Real Madrid have either side of Benzema.
If Giroud isn’t dropping deep in the same way Benzema did against Bayern, then he’s not going to turn and hit long balls up front and into space.
Benzema’s performance last night didn’t offer up anything Arsenal fans didn’t already know but if they can sign him and Wenger can get some pace back into the midfield, he’s a great option to have up front.