La Liga 2021: Real Madrid stage late comeback to win at Valencia with Vinicius Jr and Karim Benzema goals
Real Madrid levelled with a deflected strike from Vinicius in the 86th and then the Brazilian turned provider, crossing for Benzema to head home the winner in the 88th.
Real Madrid forwards Vinicius Jr and Karim Benzema scored within the space of three minutes deep in the second half to propel their side to a 2-1 win at Valencia in La Liga on Sunday (September 19) after the visitors were outplayed for most of the game. Valencia went ahead in the 66th minute with a thumping low strike from forward Hugo Duro, who spent last season on loan with Madrid.
Real levelled with a deflected strike from Vinicius in the 86th and then the Brazilian turned provider, crossing for Benzema to head home the winner in the 88th. Valencia would have gone top had they held on for the win but instead Carlo Ancelotti’s Real side lead the standings on 13 points from five games, with the hosts third on 10.
“It’s never easy to come here especially when you concede the first goal but we never gave in, we kept working and kept persisting,” said Vinicius. “We’ve got a great result here thanks to the work of the whole team and things are coming off for us right now.”
The win was on the back of another Real late show in midweek when Brazilian forward Rodrygo struck in the 89th minute to secure a 1-0 victory at Inter Milan in their first Champions League group game. Valencia had made a strong start to the season under new coach Jose Bordalas but suffered a setback in the build-up to kick off when captain Jose Gaya was ruled out injured.
More problems followed as midfielder Carlos Soler, who scored a hat-trick of penalties in last season's fixture against Real, came off injured in the 15th minute while right back Thierry Correia soon followed him in hobbling off in the 23rd.
But Bordalas’ side still managed to outrun and overpower their opponents for most of the game and took a deserved lead when Duro swivelled to send a bouncing ball beyond the reach of keeper Thibaut Courtois and into the net. Valencia continued to cause Real problems but eased off in the final 10 minutes and the visitors made the most of their deadly firepower, Vinicius scoring his fifth goal of the season and Benzema netting a sixth after bagging a hat-trick against Celta Vigo last week.
“We know what Real Madrid are like, we know they can turn the game around at any stage,” said Duro. “We had a tough game, we got two early injuries but still managed to go ahead then the victory escaped from our grasp and they made us pay in two isolated moves. We were very unlucky to not at least get a draw today.”
(with Reuters inputs)