Valencia, Spain, Sep 19 (EFE).- Two late goals by Vinicius and Karim Benzema were what it took to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in Real Madrid’s comeback road win over Valencia on Sunday, an evenly balanced and intense match but during which the capital squad was in complete control during the final 10 minutes.
The match – played at Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium before 28,000 fans – began at a fast pace with long possessions on the part of both La Liga teams, especially in Real Madrid’s case, although Valencia tried repeatedly to get on the home scoreboard, yet kept finding itself stymied.
The dynamic resulted in forays and sallies by both teams into the opposing areas that never seemed to prove too dangerous although they did force the goaltenders to be alert and earn their pay.
The first serious problem encountered by Valencia was when team captain Carlos Soler went out with an injury at the quarter-hour mark and mid-fielder Correia went down just 10 minutes later.
But the home team didn’t flounder and maintained the same spirit and drive with the entry of Musah and Lato as replacements.
Shortly thereafter, it was the turn of Madrid’s Carvajal to get injured, whereupon coach Carlo Ancelotti sent in Lucas Vazquez.
The generally evenly matched teams were scoreless at the break but after the intermission Valencia stepped up its game and manufactured a number of chances, finally getting on the board in the 66th minutes when Hugo Duro blasted in a left-footer.
Madrid looked for – and found – several good chances to tie things up, although they were unable to capitalize as the time ticked away. Space also opened up for the locals to get to the scoring threshold, but they couldn’t seem to get across.
Finally, it was a good shot by Vinicius that tied things up in the 85th minute and just three minutes later, Benzema scored the game-winning tally on a header, leaving Valencia no time to rebound.
Valencia: Mamardashvili, Thierry (Lato, m.23), Gabriel Paulista, Alderete, Foulquier, Carlos Soler (Musah, m.15), Hugo Guillamon, Wass, Hugo Duro (Marcos Andre, m.79), Guedes (Helder Costa, m.79) and Maxi Gomez (Racic, m.79).
Real Madrid: Courtois, Carvajal (Lucas Vazquez, m.26), Militao, Alaba, Nacho, Modric (Rodrygo, m,66), Casemiro (Camavinga, m.66), Valverde, (Isco, m.79), Hazard (Jovic, m.79), Benzema and Vinicius.