(Watch Video) Benzema scores ‘crazy’ own goal in Al-Ittihad’s AFC Champions League match

Karim Benzema endured a misfortune during Al-Ittihad’s AFC Champions League round of 16 clash with Navbahor Namangan at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium on Thursday.

Starting his second consecutive game of the year, the 36-year-old faced a nightmarish beginning to the crucial match in Jeddah.

In the 25th minute, Benzema inadvertently scored an own goal, giving the Uzbekistan club the lead.

The unfortunate incident occurred when a freekick was delivered into Ittihad’s box. Despite being on defensive duties, the Frenchman unintentionally headed the ball into his own net.

The own goal provided the visitors with an undeserved advantage, as the Tigers had dominated much of the game in their pursuit of an opening goal, only for Benzema to inadvertently break the deadlock at the wrong end.

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Karim Benzema involved in another fallout at Al-Ittihad, ‘storms out of training’

Karim Benzema reportedly walked out of an Al-Ittihad training session after refusing to follow his manager’s orders.

Marcelo Gallardo had ordered the Frenchman to train alone but the striker refused and stormed out and, as a result, has been left out of the squad to take on Al-Tai in Wednesday night’s Saudi Pro League clash. Benzema was pictured training at the club’s facilities on Tuesday, but only with the injured players.

Benzema’s relationship with his employers has broken down in recent weeks with the forward failing to return to training on time – later reporting 17 days late, leaving the club ‘furious’, reports Marca.

One source stated that Al-Ittihad couldn’t even establish contact with their player for 10 days whilst he enjoyed a holiday in Mauritius. He was later excluded from the club’s training camp after failing to impress Gallardo. The club’s hierarchy held crunch talks with Benzema just months after he joined from Real Madrid.

There was talk of the Ballon d’Or winner being moved on, potentially to a different Saudi outfit, but he ended up staying put. Benzema penned a lucrative deal back in the summer, which earns him an annual sum of £86million as the league’s chiefs look to improve their domestic scene.

Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea were among those linked with a move in January when it looked as if he could cut short his time in Saudi. A rumoured move to Lyon in his native France also fell through.

Benzema reportedly remains unsettled in Saudi and he could yet seek a move back to Europe. Already Jordan Henderson has decided to quit the Middle Eastern league after terminating his deal, which freed him up to join Ajax.

Karim Benzema FINALLY makes decision over Al-Ittihad future

Real Madrid icon Karim Benzema will NOT be making a move to the Premier League after deciding to stay in Saudi Arabia.

According to The Athletic, he will stay with Al-Ittihad and honour his contract with the club. Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United were all previously credited with an interest in the French forward.

Speaking previously about a move, he said: “It’s completely false! The French media don’t know what to invent any more. The bigger the better.”

Karim Benzema makes decision on his future amid Chelsea, Arsenal chase

Karim Benzema has reportedly made a decision on his future amid rumours linking him with a move away from Saudi Arabia.

Last week, it was reported that Premier League side Manchester United are exploring a deal to sign Benzema on loan.

Aside from United, London clubs Chelsea and Arsenal have also been linked with a move for the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner.

But according to L’Equipe, the striker is expected to stay in Saudi Arabia despite the recent rumours.

It has been claimed that those around the 36-year-old say he feels good and will remain with Al-Ittihad.

Arsenal set to hijack Chelsea move for Karim Benzema as Mikel Arteta considers blockbuster loan deal

Arsenal are considering a blockbuster loan deal for superstar striker Karim Benzema, although London rivals Chelsea have also discussed a move for the Frenchman, according to TEAMtalk.

Benzema moved to Saudi Pro League outfit Al-Ittihad in June last year on a free and is only a year removed from winning the Ballon d’Or while with Real Madrid.

However, the 36-year-old has become something of a pariah at the club, sparking rumours of a return to European football.

Manchester United were immediately linked with a loan switch for the former France international but HITC reports that the Red Devils have zero intention of signing Benzema this month.

United are known to be in the market for an experienced frontman to ease the load on Rasmus Hojlund but they will not pursue Benzema.

Arsenal are said to be considering Benzema, if they can get the veteran attacker on a temporary deal.

It’s no secret that Mikel Arteta needs a new No.9 after both Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah’s struggles in front of goal this season.

And while the Gunners boss has publically played down talk of signing a striker in January, links to Brentford frontman refuse to go away – as we also reported earlier on Wednesday.

However, that will be incredibly expensive to pull off in a winter window where big money is not traditionally spent.

To that end, a loan makes plenty of sense, although Benzema’s salary will certainly be an eye-opener.

As for Chelsea’s interest, Mauricio Pochettino has been linked with a number of forward options, given that Nicolas Jackson has yet to fully convince as the club’s leading marskman.

The report states that they are continuing to monitor Benzema’s situation at Al-Ittihad, where he has scored 15 times in 24 appearances.

(Watch Video Highlights) Hernandez seals last-minute comeback win for France after Lukaku, Carrasco fire Belgium into first half lead (Match Report)

Theo Hernandez scored a superb 90th-minute winner as France hit back from 2-0 down to stun Belgium and reach the Nations League final.

AC Milan’s Theo Hernandez was in the starting XI with Lucas, the first brothers to start for France in over 90 years.

Didier Deschamps’ side looked out of contention at the break after conceding two goals in the space of four minutes, but a thrilling second-half fightback set up a meeting with Spain.

Just four minutes in, Hugo Lloris had to make a truly extraordinary reaction save on Kevin De Bruyne’s deflected strike from nine yards.

After a few dangerous Kylian Mbappé counter-attacks, Belgium began to take control and Yannick Carrasco saw his low drive take a slight deflection into the near bottom corner. France felt that there was a foul in the build-up, but VAR and the referee waved play on.

The Red Devils doubled their lead with ex-Inter hitman Romelu Lukaku, who burst away from Lucas Hernandez down the right and hit an extraordinary strike from the tightest of angles into the roof of the net with his right boot. Once again, Lloris could have done better.

France began to get back into it after the break, but Antoine Griezmann prodded wide from six yards on an Mbappé roll across from the right. The goal had been coming and it arrived when Mbappé rolled across, Karim Benzema gathered with his back to goal, turned on the spot to drill in from 12 yards.

Belgium had fallen asleep in this second half and were penalised when Youri Tielemans went through the back of Griezmann for a penalty, which Mbappé converted with pure power and precision into the top corner.

This woke the Belgians up and Lloris flew to fingertip a De Bruyne rocket over the bar, while Thibaut Courtois parried Paul Pogba’s strike and Mbappé fired wide after a give-and-go with Benzema.

Moments after that miss, Belgium had the ball in the net with Lukaku, but he was marginally offside on the Carrasco cross from the left.

A few minutes after that, with extra time looming, Pogba’s splendid free kick bounced off the crossbar.

Mere seconds later, France did complete the turnaround with Milan star Theo Hernandez, who was ready on the rebound on a poor Toby Alderweireld clearance and smashed it left-footed into the far bottom corner from just inside the box.

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Half-Time Report: Benzema hands Real Madrid lead PSG as Courtois red card, penalty overturned by VAR

Karim Benzema’s goal separates the two sides at the break, but that is far from the big talking point, despite the hosts having the better chances.

Thibaut Courtois was given his marching orders right on half time after a foul on Mauro Icardi.

However his dismissal and the subsequent penalty were overturned by VAR!!!

Just a sensational 45 minutes of football with all the skill, wit, intensity, strategy and creativity you could possibly wish for.

Madrid the better side, for sure, but with no margin for error. Hazard’s best game in white.

Paris head to their dressing room frustrated not to be level, but they should likewise feel relieved not to be further behind.

Madrid had the better of an absorbing first 45 minutes and the visitors – kept in the game by Navas – will need to channel their frustration after the break if they wish to turn this match around.

Photo Credit: Twitter @realmadrid.com