Sports, Football

Benzema strikes again as Real stun Valencia


By AFP
Published : 21 Sep 2021 01:06 AM | Updated : 21 Sep 2021 11:30 AM

Real Madrid moved to the top of La Liga on Sunday after scoring twice in two minutes to pull off an incredible late comeback against Valencia.

Valencia looked set for victory at Mestalla when Hugo Duro scored against his former club in the second half but the in-form Vinicius Junior equalised in the 86th minute before Karim Benzema headed home in the 88th for a 2-1 away win.

Real Madrid remain unbeaten this term, having now won five and drawn one of their first six matches in all competitions under returning coach Carlo Ancelotti.

"We didn't win through quality, we won through spirit," said Ancelotti. "I have a young team and I cannot say we are playing spectacular football - we have to improve our defensive game, be more aggressive - but I think with this spirit we will fix it."

Valencia, who stay third, have also enjoyed a strong start under new coach Jose Bordalas but leave hugely disappointed not to have taken three points from this game, let alone one.

Madrid sit two ahead of Atletico Madrid after Atletico were held to a goalless draw by Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, and six in front of Barcelona, who have two games in hand, the first against Granada on Monday.

Benzema already has six goals this season but the real bonus for Ancelotti has been the form of Vinicius, who has five goals himself, already more than the 21-year-old managed in the whole of the last campaign.

"They were both fantastic," Ancelotti said.

Both teams were hampered by early injuries as Real Madrid's Dani Carvajal had to be replaced by Lucas Vazquez while Valencia lost both Carlos Soler and Thierry Correia, with Yunus Musah and Toni Lato coming on.