Football: Real grab much-needed win with late goals against Valladolid

Sunday, 2018-11-04 08:05:41
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Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos celebrates scoring their second goal from the penalty spot. (Reuters)
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Real Madrid ended their long wait for a La Liga victory by beating Real Valladolid 2-0 on Saturday with two late goals in interim coach Santiago Solari's first home game in charge of the struggling European champions.

Brazilian teenager Vinicius Jr. gave the new coach and an impatient Bernabeu crowd a lift in the 83rd minute by cutting in from the left and firing a shot which was heavily deflected into the net off Valladolid's Kike Olivas and awarded as an own goal to the defender.

Real had been fortunate not to go behind on two occasions in the second half when Ruben Alcaraz and Toni Villa hammered the crossbar, but the home side sealed a first win in six league games when captain Sergio Ramos netted an 88th-minute penalty.

The win lifted Real provisionally from ninth place up to sixth in the standings on 17 points, four behind leaders Barcelona who play at Rayo Vallecano later on Saturday.

Still reeling from their humiliating 5-1 defeat at Barca last week, Real made an impressive start against a Valladolid side unbeaten in their last six outings but their early chances soon dried up and they were loudly booed off at halftime.

Gareth Bale was given particularly rough treatment from the home fans when he was substituted and not even usual favourite Marco Asensio escaped the howls of unhappy supporters when he made way for Vinicius, who had barely played under Solari's predecessor Julen Lopetegui.

Vinicius had excited fans in the Copa del Rey against Melilla in midweek and his flair and bursts of pace injected some verve into Solari's side which led to them finally breaking the deadlock, even though the goal owed a lot to Olivas' unfortunate attempt to block the shot.

The goal was harsh on Valladolid and sucked the life out of the visitors, whose defender Nacho gave away a clumsy penalty by falling into Benzema and Ramos coolly converted from the spot, transforming the earlier boos into relieved celebrations.

Atletico Madrid's Saul Niguez applauds fans after the match. (Reuters)

Atletico Madrid threw away the chance to go top of La Liga by conceding a late equaliser to draw 1-1 away to neighbours Leganes on Saturday as their miserable run at the Madrid minnows dragged on.

France forward Antoine Griezmann had given Diego Simeone's side the lead with a sizzling free-kick in the 69th minute in a typically tight game at the Butarque stadium.

But Leganes hit back when striker Guido Carillo stabbed a loose ball over the line in the 82nd after full back Rodrigo Tarin's cross thumped off the underside of the bar.

Atletico are now second with 20 points, one point behind champions Barcelona who visit Rayo Vallecano later on Saturday.

Reuters