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

By Sports Desk February 04, 2024

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.

Related items

  • Coventry City 2-3 Hull City: Tigers win five-goal thriller to keep play-off hopes alive Coventry City 2-3 Hull City: Tigers win five-goal thriller to keep play-off hopes alive

    Hull City kept their hopes of gatecrashing the Championship play-offs alive with a thrilling 3-2 win over beaten FA Cup semi-finalists Coventry City on Wednesday.

    Noah Ohio scored the winner with his first touch after coming on as a second-half substitute as Hull moved within three points of sixth-placed Norwich City with two games to play.

    Coventry, meanwhile, saw their own hopes of returning to Wembley Stadium for a second successive play-off final all but ended, as they sit six points further back with three matches remaining. 

    Three days on from their remarkable comeback against Manchester United, the Sky Blues twice fought back to level things at Coventry Building Society Arena. Jaden Philogene's shot squirmed under goalkeeper Bradley Collins to put Hull ahead 31 minutes in, but Kasey Palmer levelled within five minutes with a stunning free-kick.

    Hull went back ahead in controversial circumstances on the stroke of half-time, Liverpool loanee Fabio Carvalho converting from the penalty spot despite replays showing Joel Latibeaudiere's foul on Liam Delap took place outside the area.

    Mark Robins' men again dragged themselves back into the game as Bobby Thomas headed Jay Dasilva's cross in just before the hour mark, but it was Liam Rosenior's visitors who found a winner.

    Thomas went from hero to villain as his poor back pass sold Collins short, and Ohio got a toe to the ball to score the winner, keeping Hull's hopes of Premier League football intact. 

  • Van Dijk: Liverpool have 'no chance' in title race after derby defeat Van Dijk: Liverpool have 'no chance' in title race after derby defeat

    Virgil van Dijk conceded Liverpool might be out of the Premier League title race after they suffered a surprise 2-0 defeat to Everton in Wednesday's Merseyside derby.

    Jarrad Branthwaite and Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored in either half to give the Toffees their first win over Liverpool at Goodison Park since 2010.

    Liverpool struggled to find a way through the Toffees' defence despite dominating for long periods, and the Reds' captain says they will not outlast Arsenal and Manchester City without major improvements.  

    Speaking to Sky Sports, Van Dijk said: "If we play like today, then we have no chance to consider ourselves in the title race. 

    "We have to just focus on the next game and that will be a tough one anyway, so we will see.

    "We're very disappointed, in so many ways. I think everyone has to look at their own performances. Did they really give everything, and do they really want to win the league?

    "We're still fighting and there are still games after tonight, but if we play like we did overall in the game today – not winning challenges and giving the referee a chance to give free-kicks like he did many times, then you have no chance to win the title."

  • Howe: Newcastle performance in Palace defeat 'way off' Spurs win Howe: Newcastle performance in Palace defeat 'way off' Spurs win

    Eddie Howe admitted Newcastle United's performance in the 2-0 loss at Crystal Palace on Wednesday was "way off" the one that saw them thump Tottenham in their previous game.

    Howe's men hammered Spurs 4-0 in their last match, but they never got close to matching the attacking verve from that outing and a Jean-Philippe Mateta double condemned the Magpies to defeat at Selhurst Park.

    Newcastle didn't even manage a shot on target until the 87th minute, accumulating just 0.42 xG (expected goals) as the likes of Alexander Isak and Anthony Gordon struggled to make an impact.

    Only against Manchester City in August (one) have Newcastle recorded fewer shots on target in a Premier League game this season than their two against Palace, and Howe was critical of his team's display in the loss, one that all but ends their hopes of finishing in the top four.

    "[It is a] bad day for us," Howe told Newcastle's club media.

    "I thought we were disappointing today, especially in the first 60 minutes. We were way off our levels against Tottenham and our best levels.

    "I thought technically we didn't deliver a good performance, and out of possession I don't think it was a particularly good performance either."

    Newcastle were unlocked twice for Mateta to score by a Palace side who themselves only generated 0.88 xG.

    Howe was left frustrated by the manner in which his side conceded, adding: "I think we'll be disappointed with our performance technically today, and that's probably epitomised by the two goals where we're disappointed with how we've given them the ball in those situations and then how we defended.

    "I think the goals sum up aspects of our performance where there was some good, lots of moments that could have led to opportunities, but we were slow to shoot around the box," he said.

    The defeat, combined with Manchester United's 4-2 win over Sheffield United, means Newcastle drop to seventh, while eighth-placed West Ham are two points behind with a game in hand.

    Newcastle have now lost eight of their last 11 Premier League away games, while they have lost on four occasions in London in the league this term, only doing so more times in a Premier League season in 2000-01 and 2005-06 (both five).

    It's been a disappointing season for Howe and his side, especially compared to the heroics of last term when Newcastle finished in the top four, and the Magpies boss knows there's work to be done to get back to those levels.

    "It's a day that we have to take our punishment, deal with it, and then try and improve," Howe continued. "It's frustrating because we know we're capable of much better."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.