'Moment of magic': Benzema's Madrid derby heroics keeps title race alive

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Karim Benzema celebrates his goal (pictured right) and dribbles the ball (pictured left).
Karim Benzema celebrates his goal (pictured right) after a 'moment of magic' (pictured left) in the lead-up. (Getty Images)

Real Madrid snatched a late equaliser in the Madrid derby courtesy of a 'moment of magic' from striker Karim Benzema to keep the La Liga title race alive.

Atletico Madrid took an early lead after a cool finish from Luis Suarez.

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Former Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente released released Suarez who slotted the ball past Thibaut Courtois using the outside of his right foot.

Courtois made a handful of saves in the first half to keep Madrid alive against an atypical energetic Atletico outfit.

But, in an attempt to keep their title hopes alive, Madrid pushed for the equaliser towards the end of the game.

Benzema would have been ruing a chance off a beautiful Viniscius Jnr cross, which Jon Oblak incredibly saved.

However, with the clock ticking down, Benzema traded passes with Casemiro to find the equaliser.

With up to five defenders around him, the Frenchman took two quick touches to release the Brazilian in the box.

But Casemiro then played it back to Benzema who slotted the ball home into an empty net, which proved just enough to keep Madrid five points behind Atletico in the title race.

Benzema's goal kept Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane's incredible record in Madrid derby's alive.

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The draw kept Diego Simeone's team five points in front of reigning champions Madrid and three ahead of second-placed Barcelona, who won 2-0 at Osasuna on Saturday.

Atletico hold La Liga advantage

Atletico have a game in hand over both chasing clubs.

"We never thought it was going to be easy," Simeone said.

"People said we were going to win by 20 points but I don't know what they were thinking. It will be very difficult for all teams until the end."

Atletico are trying to end a streak of league titles won by either Barcelona or Madrid since 2014.

"We are going to keep fighting until the end," Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said.

Atletico Madrid forward Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid against Real Madrid CF at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on March 7, 2021.
Atletico Madrid forward Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid against Real Madrid CF at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on March 7, 2021. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

"There are a lot of games left and things can change quickly."

Atletico keeper Jan Oblak made a handful of excellent saves from Benzema, but was unable to stop the former France international in the final minutes as the striker found the net from near the penalty spot after a pass by Casemiro.

"When you miss your chances to add to your lead, sometimes 1-0 is not enough," Simeone said.

"We had our chances to seal the victory but couldn't capitalise on them and they were able to equalise."

with AAP

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