Karim Benzema to the rescue once again, scoring a late winner to complete a second-half double as Real Madrid moved up to second in La Liga after completing a 2-1 comeback victory at home to struggling Elche and cutting into Atletico Madrid’s lead at the top after they were held 0-0 at 10-man Getafe.
In a relatively quiet opening period at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, the reigning La Liga champions tried to stamp their authority as Raphael Varane fired Casemiro’s pass over the crossbar while at the other end, Elche winger Tete Morente wasted a good opportunity for the visitors midway through the first half with a poorly-struck cross from the right.
Johan Mojica also forced Real Madrid to clear after 26 minutes, and soon Isco on the other hand also saw his long-range strike kept out in the center of the goal by Elche goalkeeper Edgar Badia.
Before the break, Real hit back with a number of chances – including two close efforts from Benzema after Elche’s Guido Carrillo headed Mojica’s cross wide as the struggling away side fought hard to get their noses ahead.
Still, it was the hosts that came out of the blocks fastest in the second half with Benzema fizzing a great chance wide before Isco’s effort was blocked.
Elche, however, would go in front first on the day after piling pressure on the Madrid defence and taking the lead in the 61st minute when Dani Calvo headed the ball home via the crossbar following a corner.
But the hosts hit back as Benzema equalised with a close-range header after 73 minutes.
The Frenchman then snatched the winner for Real late on as he slotted Rodrygo’s assist into the bottom corner for his fifth goal from the last four and 20th of the season in all competitions for Zinedine Zidane’s side.
Meanwhile, La Liga leaders Atletico pressured Getafe early in the game, forcing four quick corners and a save by David Soria to deny Yannick Carrasco but couldn’t find a way thorough after 90 minutes.
Allan Nyom was sent off on 70 minutes when he earned a direct red card for recklessly driving his studs into the lower leg of Lodi.
Atletico tried all they could and despite the extra space, they could only earn themselves a point in the game.
Luis Suarez hit the post with seven minutes remaining though with the results meaning Real close the gap on Atletico to six points with 11 games remaining. Barcelona are one point behind Real in third place before they host Huesca on Monday.
Spanish La Liga results
Saturday 13 March 2021
- Alaves 1-1 Cadiz
- Real Madrid 2-1 Elche
- Osasuna 0-0 Real Valladolid
- Getafe 0-0 Atletico Madrid