Football

Euro leagues | Karim Benzema salvages draw at Valencia

The saviour: Karim Benzema’s injury time strike saves Real Madrid’s blushes.

The saviour: Karim Benzema’s injury time strike saves Real Madrid’s blushes.   | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Juventus in joint top spot after an Inter stumble

Real Madrid missed the chance to replace Barcelona at the top of La Liga ahead of Wednesday’s Clasico but salvaged a 1-1 draw against Valencia as Karim Benzema scored a dramatic injury-time equaliser.

Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois ventured up for a final corner at Mestalla and it was his header that caused panic in the Valencia box, before the ball fell perfectly for Benzema to strike in the 95th minute.

“Opponents can get a little nervous if I go up,” said Courtois. “Toni (Kroos) hit the corner to the near post and I just saw the ball was at my height and I caught it well.”

Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said: “He decided to go up and that shows we want more, than we never give up. The draw is a reward for the effort we made, which was a lot. This is Real Madrid, a team that never gives up.”

Valencia looked set for an impressive victory after Carlos Soler had put it ahead in the second half but both sides had to settle for a point at the end of a compelling contest between two of the league’s form teams.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Juventus beat Udinese 3-1 to join Inter Milan at the top of the Serie A table after Antonio Conte’s side was held 1-1 at Fiorentina.

Dusan Vlahovic snatched a point for Fiorentina two minutes into injury time to frustrate Inter Milan which had led following Borja Valero’s opener after eight minutes in Tuscany on Sunday.

Both Juventus and Inter Milan have 39 points from 16 games, with Antonio Conte’s side ahead on goal difference.

Valero scored off a Marcelo Brozovic cross against his former club. But the visitors failed to kill off the game.

Roma moved up to fourth and into the Champions League places after three second-half goals sealed a 3-1 win over rock bottom SPAL.

“Today it was important to win,” said Roma coach Paulo Fonseca.

The results:

Premier League: Arsenal 0 lost to Manchester City 3 (De Bruyne 2, 40, Sterling 15).

La Liga: Espanyol 2 (Darder 19, Bernardo 41) drew with Real Betis 2 (Iglesias 4, Bartra 67); Sevilla 1 (Munir 61) lost to Villarreal 2 (Albiol 13, Toko Ekambi 74); Valencia 1 (Soler 78) drew with Real Madrid 1 (Benzema 90+5).

Serie A: Roma 3 (Pellegrini 53, Perotti 66-pen, Mkhitaryan 83) bt SPAL 1 (Petagna 44-pen); Fiorentina 1 (Vlahovic 90+2) drew with Inter Milan 1 (Borja Valero 8).

Bundesliga: Wolfsburg 2 (Schlager 13, Arnold 90) bt Borussia M’gladbach 1 (Embolo 15); Schalke 04 1 (Raman 53) bt Eintracht Frankfurt 0.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 7:45:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/euro-leagues-karim-benzema-salvages-draw-at-valencia/article30323109.ece

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