Leganes 1 Real Madrid 1: In-form Benzema secures point for Zidane's side

Karim Benzema scored his fifth LaLiga goal in four games, but Real Madrid had to settle for a point against Leganes on Monday.

Karim Benzema celebrates against Leganes   -  Getty Images

Real Madrid missed the chance to get within touching distance of Atletico Madrid as Zinedine Zidane's side was held to a 1-1 draw by Leganes in LaLiga.

Atletico's 2-0 win over Celta Vigo on Saturday saw the side move five points clear of third-placed Madrid, which had to rely on the in-form Karim Benzema to salvage a draw in a rare Monday outing.

Jonathan Silva's goal had given Leganes a deserved lead late in the first half, but Benzema drew his side level with his 18th LaLiga goal of the season six minutes after the restart.

Youssef En-Nesyri thought he had clinched a famous win for Leganes late on, but the offside flag sparred Madrid's blushes in what was a frustrating outing for the visitor.

Zidane saw his team make a break start, Marco Asensio failing to direct a close-range effort either side of Ivan Cuellar after 10 minutes.

Madrid should have been made to pay four minutes later, only for Martin Braithwaite to head wide from three yards out after getting the better of Nacho, playing in a defence minus the services of the injured Sergio Ramos.

But Madrid was punished on the stroke of half-time, Braithwaite teeing up Silva, who gave Keylor Navas little chance with a precise finish to the goalkeeper's right.

Leganes' lead was short-lived, though, Benzema - who had been played in brilliantly by Luka Modric - tucking home at the second attempt from a tight angle following a fine initial save from Cuellar.

Substitute En-Nesyri was rightly flagged offside as Leganes pushed for a winner, with Cuellar on top form at the other end to deny Marcelo and ensure a well-deserved point against its illustrious city rival.

 


What does it mean? Zidane's revival takes a hit

Three successive wins had put Madrid well back in the hunt for second place, though a defeat on the road at Valencia, followed up by another lacklustre display against Leganes in its next away outing, has left its hopes in the balance.

Benzema gets Los Blancos out of trouble

Madrid's number nine has been a rare bright spot in a frustrating season and despite being denied by Cuellar at the first attempt, he kept his cool to convert the rebound and continue his impressive scoring streak.

Madrid's defence lacking leadership without Ramos

With Ramos sidelined with a calf injury, neither Nacho or Raphael Varane will have done much to impress Zidane, with the lively Braithwaite too easily getting the better of the pair on occasions.

What's next?

Madrid welcomes Athletic Bilbao to Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday, while Leganes travels to relegation-threatened Villarreal.

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