Leganes 1-1 Real Madrid: Karim Benzema scores 18th of the season while the men of Zinedine Zidane are held to sign at modest headquarters
- Real Madrid saved an 1-1 tie against mid-table Leganes on Monday-evening
- Jonathan Silva gave the hosts the lead at Estadio Municipal de Butarque
- Karim Benzema finished from a sharp angle to restore parity in the second half
- The men of Zinedine Zidane remain third in La Liga behind Barcelona and Atletico
Karim Benzema scored his 18th league goal of the season, his seventh in his last six games, to earn a point for Real Madrid away at modest capital Club Leganes.
The two lost points leave them 13 points behind leaders Barcelona. It could have been worse without their number nine that hasn't stopped scoring since Zinedine Zidane took over. Gareth Bale continues to have fewer reasons to be cheerful under the new coach – he was left on the bench until the last 10 minutes.
Leganes took the lead with the final kick of the first half. Middlesbrough loanee Martin Braithwaite put the ball to the edge of the area and Jonathan Silva opened his body and with his side feet a nice finish in the far corner past Keylor Navas.
Karim Benzema celebrates after leveling scoring Real Madrid & # 39; s tying goal at Leganes
Wethers winger Gareth Bale came in as a substitute with nine minutes to go
Braithwaite had missed Leganes' best earlier chance when he left the edge of the six-yard box 10 minutes wide.
The Danish attacker scored earlier in the season against Real Madrid in a 1-0 home win that had little to do with a two-legged cup match that Madrid won. Victory would mean a lot more this time – free Leganes shirts for fans for one thing.
Supporters had been promised by the club that anyone who buys a shirt in the run-up to the game would return his money if the team won this competition.
It was a flat first half for Real Madrid. So much so that halfway through the first 45 times, attention turned to the bank when Bale climbed off and disappeared through the tunnel, presumably to use the Leganes toilets. He had not missed much of the visitors and there was not much to see when he returned.
Jonathan Silva is held up by his Leganes teammates after scoring the opening goal
Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas makes a dive save at Estadio Municipal de Butarque
Just before the break, Isco ran into Unai Bustinza on the edge of the area and curled his free kick over the crossbar. Raphael Varane then came even closer with a shot from an Isco corner that was well saved by Pichu Cuellar.
When Silva found it just in 45 minutes, Madrid saw himself beaten for the tenth time, but Benzema placed them back on level six minutes after the break.
Modric worked his magic in midfield and spun away from Leganes defender Dimitrios Siovas before cutting a passage to Benzema.
His first shot was saved by Cuellar, but the keeper only managed to push the ball to the Frenchman and he made no mistake about the rebound. The last five goals from Madrid were now all from him.
Zinedine Zidane looks bewildered when his players are looking for a second goal against Leganes
Balloon d & # 39; Or winner Luka Modric starts a driving run in the second half
Madrid was now completely on top, but still without a second goal with 15 minutes to go when Zinedine Zidane turned to his bench. It was Lucas Vazquez who was deployed for Isco. Bale had to keep warming up along the narrow sidelines at Butarque.
With 10 minutes to go he was finally led and stood at the start of the move that put Madrid first. His passing was nudged by Lucas Benzema. The Frenchman shot the ball at Marcelo and hit it on the post.
That was their last big chance. On the other hand, Youssef En-Nesyri approached twice. First he mistreated his run on a passing ball and was therefore sidelined as he sent it past Navas. Then he stepped in after Varane at another leading group, but allowed the defender to recover and block his shot.
Both parties had to settle for just one point. For Leganes it felt historic, for Madrid it felt like a new benchmark of how far they have fallen this season. The day before Barcelona played in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, they could not have won again in La Liga.