Vinicius, Benzema lead Real comeback at Valencia

Published September 21, 2021
VALENCIA: Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema shoots in front of Valencia’s Daniel Wass during their La Liga match at the Mestalla.—AFP
VALENCIA: Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema shoots in front of Valencia’s Daniel Wass during their La Liga match at the Mestalla.—AFP

MADRID: Only a few games into the season, Real Madrid already know they have an attacking duo they can rely on.

Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema added to their impressive starts to the season by scoring late goals in Real’s 2-1 win against Valencia in La Liga on Sunday.

Vinicius scored his fourth goal of the season in the 86th minute, and Benzema netted his sixth two minutes later to give Real their third straight win in the league.

The victory leaves them top with 13 points, two more than defending champions Atletico Madrid.

“It’s always hard to play here and it was even harder after they scored,” Vinicius said. “Things were not going our way but in the end we found a way to rally and get the victory.”

Vinicius and Benzema have combined for 11 of the team’s 15 goals in their first five league matches and top the league’s scoring charts.

Valencia, who entered the weekend tied for first with Real and Atletico, opened the scoring with a goal from Hugo Duro in the 66th after a mistake by Real defender Lucas Vazquez, who replaced the injured Dani Carvajal in the first half.

Vinicius equalised with a shot that deflected off a defender before going in, and then made a well-placed cross for Benzemas winning header that stunned Valencia fans at Mestalla after the hosts had played well for most of the match.

Mikel Oyarzabal missed a first-half penalty kick as fourth-placed Real Sociedad were held to a 0-0 draw against Sevilla, who are sixth.

Oyarzabal had his 27th-minute penalty stopped by Sevilla goalkeeper Bono, who also came up with some key saves later in the game.

Leandro Cabrera scored seven minutes into injury time as Espanyol, yet to win in the league this season, salvaged a 2-2 draw at 10-man Real Betis.

Aleix Vidal put Espanyol ahead in the 16th before Betis rallied with goals by Willian Jose in the 41st and Nabil Fekir in first-half stoppage time.

The hosts played a man down from the 78th after a red card for German Pezzella.

American forward Matthew Hoppe came off the bench in the second half to make his debut with Mallorca in a 0-0 draw against Villarreal, missing out on the potential winner after his late goal was called off for offside.

Villarreal’s winless streak to start the league reached four matches and Unai Emery’s team hasnt won in six matches in all competitions this season.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2021

Opinion

Lull before the storm
Updated 24 Oct 2021

Lull before the storm

It does not take rocket science to figure out why each of the two sides is taking the stand it is.
The larger debate
Updated 23 Oct 2021

The larger debate

The revelations show how the economy promotes inequality.

Editorial

Anti-government rallies
Updated 24 Oct 2021

Anti-government rallies

Banning a party because it can create a public nuisance sets a dangerous precedent which can be repeated to justify future bans.
24 Oct 2021

End of polio?

AFTER a long struggle, the reward is finally in sight. With only a single case of wild poliovirus reported this year...
24 Oct 2021

Heritage work

IT is encouraging that, slowly, projects of heritage conservation and preservation appear to be taking off. These...
A final push
Updated 23 Oct 2021

A final push

PAKISTAN’S hopes of exiting the so-called FATF grey list have been shattered once again. The global money...
23 Oct 2021

Kabul visit

FOREIGN MINISTER Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s flying visit to Kabul on Thursday is the first official high-level...
23 Oct 2021

Baqir’s blooper

THE remarks made by State Bank governor Reza Baqir at a London press conference have hit a raw nerve in Pakistan. In...