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LaLiga leaders draw with Elche

MATCH REPORT. 23/01/2022. Javier García

A Modrić penalty and a 92nd-minute Militão header rescue a point for Real Madrid at the Bernabéu.

The LaLiga leaders are never beaten and earned a point in the final minutes of the match against Elche. The Whites dominated the game and had the better of the chances but found themselves 2-0 down with just fifteen minutes left to play before Modrić (82') and Militão (92') levelled the score. An emotional tribute to the legend of Paco Gento opened the evening at the Santiago Bernabéu as the side remains unbeaten in the league.

It was clear how the two teams were set up from the off. Real Madrid dominated possession as Elche pressed high up the pitch looking to take their chances. The first opportunity came in the 11th minute from Benzema and Vini Jr. The Frenchman provided the assist and the Brazilian tried his luck but Edgar Badía kept him out. Kroos struck a well-hit shot from the edge of the area minutes later that went wide. The visitors were forced to defended deeper and deeper as Benzema continued to show his class. The league’s top scorer controlled a long pass from Alaba with superb skill, only to see his shot cleared off the line by Edgar Badía.

Chances
Casemiro's shot from outside the area came even closer but the keeper was again on hand to save. With 32 minutes gone, Vini Jr. was brought down inside the area by Palacios. Benzema stepped up to take the penalty but fired wide. Luck was not smiling on Ancelotti's side, who went 1-0 down in the 42nd minute, Lucas Boyé heading in after the visitors quickly transitioned. Real Madrid looked for a speedy responce. and Benzema almost levelled the score in quick succession and Kroos almMendy ost found the equaliser in stoppage time with a free-kick. Casemiro was also denied by Badía from a header.

Video.2-2: LaLiga leaders draw with Elche

Madrid were dominant on the ball and had the lion’s share of the chances but Elche were showing remarkable efficiency, meaning our team would have to put the situation right in the second half. With 51 minutes on the clock, the referee pointed to the spot when Diego González brought Hazard down in the box but overturned his decision after a VAR consultation. The minutes ticked by and Ancelotti’s boys were unable to break down the visitors’ resilient back line. Benzema was then forced off with a muscle complaint and Jović came on in his place.

The goals arrive
With 62 minutes gone, Kroos again tried his luck from range, one of his final contributions before being replaced by Rodrygo. Ten minutes later, Vinicius failed to find the target from inside the box, before Elche made the most of an isolated opportunity once again. Pere Milla raced through against Courtois and shot across goal into the corner of the net. It just wasn’t Madrid’s day and in the very next move, Casemiro saw his header come back off the crossbar. On 81’, the referee again went to VAR and signalled a penalty for a Pere Milla handball, which Modrić duly stepped up to convert. There was still time on the clock and Rodrygo could have levelled on 86’. Madrid continued to push on, doing all they could to find a goal, which did arrive in the 92nd minute when Militão rose to head home a gorgeous Vini Jr. cross. The league leaders take another point ahead of next week’s international break.

Tribute to Gento

Prior to kick-off at the Santiago Bernabéu, there was an emotional tribute to our president of honour Francisco Gento, who passed away last Tuesday at 88 years of age.

Unbeaten at the Bernabéu in LaLiga

The draw against Elche means the team remain unbeaten at home in the league. Their record reads seven wins and four draws.

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