La Liga: Late goals help Real Madrid to home win over Valladolid; Sevilla’s problems continue
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Madrid (Spain), Dec 31 Two late goals from Karim Benzema, with the first from the penalty spot, took Real Madrid top of La Liga with a 2-0 win over Valladolid.
Benzema scored his first goal in the 83rd minute after the VAR penalised Javi Sanchez for an involuntary handball, with Valladolid striker Sergio Leon sent off for his protests on Friday night.
The striker added a second in the last minute of normal time after a good run and cross from Eduardo Camavinga to resolve a match that had been very much in the balance until the penalty.
An even first half saw both sides have chances with Benzema firing over the crossbar when he looked certain to score, while Thibaut Courtois had to be alert to frustrate Alvaro Aguado.
Courtois then produced excellent stops to deny Aguado again in the second half and a magnificent save to stop Sergio Leon’s goalbound header with 20 minutes remaining.
Those saves were to prove vital as Madrid then resolved the game in the closing minutes.
Celta and Sevilla drew 1-1 in a result that leaves Sevilla in the relegation zone, while Celta are just one point above the drop zone, reports Xinhua.
Celta controlled the first half and took the lead when Gabri Veiga ran clear and clipped the ball over Sevilla keeper Bono.
Sevilla were the better side after the break, with Kike Salas equalising with a header in the 54th minute, before Jorge Sampaoli’s side ended with 10 men after defender Jorge Angel Carmona was sent off for two yellow cards.
Cadiz and Almeria also drew 1-1, with Lucas Perez’s 83rd-minute goal cancelling out Gonzalo Melero’s opener for Almeria, although the point leaves Cadiz second from bottom with 12 points — the same as Sevilla.
Getafe ended the year with three valuable points as Borja Mayoral scored both of their goals in a 2-0 win at home to Mallorca.
Getafe were much more ambitious than the visitors, who failed to get a single shot on target, and Mayoral assured the points with strikers in the 51st and 78th minute of the game.
On Thursday, Atletico Madrid beat Elche 2-0, while Betis and Athletic Club Bilbao drew 0-0.
FC Barcelona play Espanyol on Saturday, Villarreal face Valencia and Real Sociedad are at home to Osasuna.
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