LaLiga: Llorente’s stoppage-time strike denies Real Madrid derby victory


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Atletico Madrid held their rivals to a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu.

Real Madrid squandered the chance to move four points clear at the top of LaLiga after conceding a stoppage-time equaliser to city rivals Atletico.

Brahim Diaz’s early goal looked set to ensure Real took full advantage of Girona’s 0-0 draw against Real Sociedad on Saturday by extending their lead at the top of the table.

However, Marcos Llorente punished the home side for a lapse in concentration in the third minute of added time when he headed beyond Andriy Lunin as a static defence looked on.

The result left Real two points clear of Girona, who travel to the Bernabeu for a crunch top-of-the-table clash next weekend.

Real’s preparations for the third Madrid derby in less than a month suffered a major blow when Vinicius Junior picked up an injury in the warm up, but it was his replacement Diaz who opened the scoring in the 20th minute with a goal which owed a lot to two fortunate deflections.

The first saw Diaz’s attempted pass to Jude Bellingham rebound to an unmarked Lucas Vazquez, who also tried to cut the ball back to the England midfielder only for Koke to intercept. However, that only succeeded in diverting the ball straight to Diaz and he had the time and space to take two touches before lofting beyond Jan Oblak and into the net.

The visitors almost responded three minutes later, Axel Witsel’s header forcing a good save from Lunin and Stefan Savic glancing narrowly wide from the resulting corner.

It was a warning Real failed to heed and Atletico were somewhat unfortunate not to equalise just two minutes into the second half when Savic glanced Antoine Griezmann’s corner beyond a stationary Lunin.

The visitors’ celebrations were cut short however, with Saul Niguez adjudged to be impeding Lunin as he stood in an offside position, even though there appeared no chance the goalkeeper could have kept the ball out of his net.

That sparked Real into life and Toni Kroos fired a well-struck volley straight at Oblak from 25 yards before Rodrygo drew a more difficult save from the visiting goalkeeper, while Diaz curled a left-footed shot wide after playing the ball through the legs of Mario Hermoso.

But just when Carlo Ancelotti’s side appeared to have secured all three points, a hopeful ball into the box from Savic was flicked on by Memphis Depay and Llorente reacted quickest to direct a header into the top corner.


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