Benzema grabs comeback win for Real Madrid in stoppage time
Sevilla, Spain, Apr 17 (EFE).- Real Madrid mounted a breathtaking comeback in the second half of its Sunday road match against Sevilla after going down 0-2 before the break, with Karim Benzema scoring the winning tally in stoppage time, and the team is now 15 points ahead of its nearest challenger and on the cusp of another La Liga title.
Sevilla, meanwhile, was handed its first home loss of the season and – although No. 3 on the La Liga table – is in a bitter and strenuous struggle to keep a Champions League berth.
The match was played at Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan stadium in Sevilla before 40,650 spectators.
The home squad was much better in the first half and scored first in the 21st minute when Ivan Rakitic found the twine on a free kick after Luka Modric had tackled Papu Gomez.
Before the visitors could catch their breath they found themselves down by two as Erik Lamela sank another great shot just four minutes later, this one after Tecatito lured Thibaut Courtois too far out of the Madrid net leaving it wide open for the scoring shot.
And there the score rested at the break.
Controversy swirled around the officiating throughout the match with the capital squad’s Eduardo Camavinga almost getting expelled in the first half and a goal by Madrid’s Vinicius Junior being anulled with the match at 1-2 in the 74th minute when the referee ruled that he had controlled the ball with his arm rather than his chest.
Rodrygo finally managed to get Madrid on the board five minutes after the intermission, his first La Liga goal, when Vinicius made a great back-heel pass, but Carlo Ancelotti’s men had to wait until the 82nd minute to even things up, when it was Nacho Fernandez on the scene on his very first play after being inserted for the 2-2 strike after Rakitic headed away a corner kick, whereupon Carvajal darted in to the line then adroitly pulled back letting Nacho finish things off.
With time running out, both teams were eager to snatch a win from the jaws of a draw, but it was Rodrygo who passed to Benzema, who did an exceptional job of controlling the ball and then fired through three Sevilla defenders for the winning tally in the 92nd minute.
Sevilla: Bono; Jesus Navas, Kounde, Diego Carlos, Acuña (Augustinsson, m.62); Joan Jordan, Rakitic; Lamela (Ocampos, m.72), ‘Papu’ Gomez (Oliver Torres, m.46), ‘Tecatito’ Corona (Gudelj, m.62); and Martial (Rafa Mir, m.40).
Real Madrid: Courtois; Lucas Vazquez (Nacho, m.81), Militao, Alaba, Carvajal; Kroos, Modric (Asensio, m.81), Camavinga (Rodrygo, m.46), Valverde; Vinicius and Benzema (Mariano, m.95).