This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 2 °C Wednesday 16 January, 2019
Advertisement

Real Madrid cut the gap on leaders Atletico and Barcelona with scrappy victory over Rayo Vallecano

Karim Benzema scored the only goal of the game as fans let their displeasure known to Real boss, Santi Solari.

Karim Benzema celebrates the only goal of the game at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Karim Benzema celebrates the only goal of the game at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

KARIM BENZEMA SHOT Real Madrid to within two points of La Liga leaders Barcelona with the winner in a scrappy 1-0 win over Rayo Vallecano, while countryman Antoine Griezmann fired a brace in a 3-2 win over Real Valladolid to take Atletico Madrid level with Barca.

Benzema’s 13th-minute strike was enough for Real to move up to third on 29 points, two behind Barca, who travel to Levante on Sunday evening, and second-placed Atleti.

Sevilla have the chance to move back above Real and level with the leading pair when they host mid-table Girona early on Sunday.

However, they were made to sweat for the three points by plucky Rayo, who are second-from-bottom but would have snatched a point in stoppage time had Sergio Ramos not cleared the second of Thibaut Courtois’ double saves, from Alex Alegria and Emiliano Velazquez, off the line.

Little was seen from Real stars like Luka Modric, who was presented with his Ballon d’Or ahead of the match at the Santiago Bernabeu, and fans showed their displeasure at the end of an uninspiring contest.

Spain: Real Madrid-Rayo Vallecano. Benzema was on target but Real Madrid were less than convincing this evening. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Earlier, Griezmann struck the winner for Diego Simeone’s Atleti 10 minutes from the end after Valladolid had fought back from a two goal half-time deficit.

The Frenchman had played a key role in building the early lead. The World Cup winner laid on Nikola Kalinic’s second goal of the season in the 26th minute with a superb through ball, then put his side two up on the stroke of half-time.

After Kiko Olivas handled Griezmann’s long-range shot, and referee Undiano Mallenco pointed to the spot after a video review, the Frenchman slotted home a neat penalty .

The hosts came roaring back in the second half, twice forcing fine saves from Jan Oblak before Fernando Calero scored for the hosts from a 56th-minute corner.

Saul Niguez then inadvertently pushed Enes Unal’s header into his own net nine minutes later, and Valladolid pushed for victory.

However Griezmann stole the three points in a frantic finale, cooly steering home the winner after a scramble in the box following a corner.

© – AFP, 2018

Murray Kinsella, Gavan Casey and Eddie O’Sullivan preview another big weekend of Heineken Cup action and dissect the week’s main talking points.


Source: Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42/SoundCloud

Subscribe to our new podcast, Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42, here:

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel