Eder Militao struck a dramatic equaliser as Real Madrid salvaged a 2-2 draw against Elche at the Santiago Bernabeu in La Liga.
Real won a penalty on the half hour but Karim Benzema was unable to convert it, skying it straight into the stands.
It was a miss he was made to regret as 10 minutes later, Elche scored the opening goal. It started with left-back Johan Mojica passing the ball on the flank to Fidel, who made a great run into the final third. The cross found Lucas Boye who headed his seventh goal of the season, the most he has ever scored in a Liga campaign.
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In the second half, Elche doubled their lead through Pere Milla, who again found himself in some space to easily shoot past Thibaut Courtois.
But Milla soon went from hero to zero as just minutes later he handled in the box and Luka Modric comfortably converted the penalty.
The real heartbreak for Elche though came in the 92nd minute as a cross from Vinicius Junior went straight to Eder Militao, who headed home Real Madrid’s equalizer.
The points shared means that Real Madrid are four points clear of Sevilla at the top of the table. They get over a week's break before they face off against Athletic Club in the quarter-final of the Copa del Rey.
Vinicius Junior of Real Madrid during the La Liga week 22 match between Real Madrid and Elche at Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, Spain on January 23, 2022
Image credit: Getty Images
TALKING POINT - Not the end of the world
Real Madrid had several chances in the first half that they were unable to convert, but dug deep in the second half. They weren’t at their best, but getting a point against an organised Elche side is not the end of the world. Especially since they still maintain top spot in the table.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH - Edgar Badia (Elche)
This is a tough one because both sides had some deserving players. Casemiro was a linchpin for Real Madrid, and facilitated a lot of their attacking play while still being a rock defensively. But Edgar Badia made six fantastic saves for Elche. The visitors do not go home with a point without him and that's why he just pips it.
Real Madrid: Courtois 6, Vazquez 7, Militao 7, Alaba 6, Mendy 6, Modric 7, Casemiro 8, Kroos 7, Hazard 6, Benzema 6, Vinicius Jr 7... Subs: Valverde 6, Isco 6, Jovic 6, Rodrygo 6.
Elche: Badia 8, Palacios 6, Verdu 7, Gonzalez 6, Mojic 7, Morente 6, Guti 7, Gumbau 6, Milla 6, Boye 8, Perez 6... Subs: Fidel 7, Josan 6.
33’ - PENALTY MISS! Vinicius goes down in the box after being fouled by Palacios, and the ref points to the spot. It gets checked after Elche argue that they should have had a foul in the build-up but VAR confirms the penalty. Benzema steps up, but he skies the shot straight into the stands.
42’ - GOAL! Real Madrid 0-1 Elche (Boye): Real Madrid have had an abundance of chances, but it is Elche who score first. Mojica makes a pass to substitute Fidel who makes a great run. His cross finds Boye who smashes a header into the back of the net.
76’ - GOAL! Real Madrid 0-2 Elche (Milla): Elche haven't had many chances, but they make the ones they do have count! Boye shows some great skill and gets away from Militao. He finds Milla who makes a great run in some open space and scores past Courtois.
82’ - GOAL! Real Madrid 1-2 Elche (Modric): The hosts pull one back. A penalty is awarded for a handball on Milla, and Modric calmly slots the ball to where Badia can’t get a hand on it.
92’ - GOAL! Real Madrid 2-2 Elche (Militao): Real Madrid come back in the dying minutes! Vinicius Jr. has the ball out wide and crosses it straight to Militao, who leans back and heads the ball straight into the back of the net!
- Real Madrid have drawn their first game after a comeback (two goals down) since March 2017 vs Las Palmas (1-3, 3-3) (Opta)
- Milla is the first player to have scored & conceded a penalty in a single La Liga game at Santiago Bernabeu since Dani Parejo for Valencia in April 2017 (Opta)
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