Real Madrid held at Leganes despite Karim Benzema strike

Karim Benzema rescued a point for Real Madrid in a 1-1 draw with Leganes in LaLiga.

Leganes, who are now 10 points clear of the bottom three, led through Jonathan Silva at the Butarque Municipal Stadium before Benzema hauled Zinedine Zidane’s misfiring side level early in the second half.

The result means Real trail second-placed Atletico Madrid by four points – and leaders Barcelona by 13 – with six games remaining.

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Marco Asensio was denied an early opener for Real when his low shot was well saved by Leganes goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar, while the home side responded through Martin Braithwaite, who headed narrowly wide.

Real were far from convincing and spent long spells pinned back in their own half during the opening 45 minutes.

When they did lift the tempo their final delivery was found wanting, although France defender Raphael Varane forced Cuellar into another excellent save with a low shot following a corner just before the interval.

Despite decent periods of pressure, Leganes had failed to register a shot on target during the first period until they took the lead on the stroke of half-time.

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Braithwaite teed up Silva on the edge of the penalty area after a counter-attack and the Argentinian defender side-footed home a shot into the bottom corner.

Real levelled six minutes after the restart.

Luka Modric provided a rare moment of magic, turning sharply in the box before picking out Benzema and after the striker’s initial shot had been saved, he turned home the rebound.

It was Benzema’s 27th goal in all competitions this season.

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Silva went close to his second of the night when his header was saved by Keylor Navas just after the hour, while Cuellar kept out Asensio’s flicked effort at the near post as both sides chased a second goal.

Asensio was thwarted again by Cuellar from a tight angle after being played through by Benzema before the Spanish forward was replaced by Gareth Bale with nine minutes left.

Cuellar rescued Leganes again when he turned away Marcelo’s low effort and Benzema crashed an angled drive just wide in the closing stages as Real were made to settle for a point.

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