Karim Benzema rescues a point for Real Madrid against Valencia
Karim Benzema’s last-gasp goal earned Real Madrid an important 1-1 draw with Valencia in La Liga.
Zinedine Zidane’s side looked like being beaten on the east coast of Spain after Carlos Soler put the hosts in front with only 12 minutes remaining.
But the France international struck deep into injury time to earn a draw which keeps his side level with Barcelona ahead of Wednesday’s El Clasico.
Zidane will be happy his side get out of the Mestalla with a point having been second best for much of the game.
Los Ches will have thought they did enough to earn a fourth home win over Madrid in six games, but there was a late twist in the tale.
The evening ended well for Madrid and it had started brightly for them as well as they enjoyed a confident beginning in the Mestalla, having several sights of goal.
Rodrygo headed straight at goalkeeper Jaume Domenech before Luka Modric fired wide from the edge of the area.
Valencia, though, began to find their groove and asked questions of Madrid’s defence.
Ten minutes before the break Jose Gaya sent in an inviting cross from the left which was met by Ferran Torres, but the striker could not keep his header Torres.
It was Torres who had the chance of the match just after the restart.
He was set clear down the left and he closed in on goal, only for Thibaut Courtois to come racing off his line and save with his body.
The visitors were struggling to regain their momentum and threw Bale on in search of a spark.
However, several minutes later they were behind as Valencia got their reward.
Soler, left totally unmarked, lashed home from a low cross with just 12 minutes remaining.
Gareth Bale, who had been brought on as a second-half substitute, had sight of goal from a free-kick, but he disappointingly found the wall as Madrid struggled for a way back into the game.
It looked as if it was going to be a defeat until the fifth minute of injury time and the last action of the game.
Madrid forced a corner, which Courtois came up for, the goalkeeper won a header which Domenech saved but Benzema pounced to fire home and claim an unlikely point.