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Football: Benzema pounces late on to deny Atletico derby win

Football: Benzema pounces late on to deny Atletico derby win

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates scoring their first goal. (Photo: REUTERS/Susana Vera)

MADRID: Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema struck an 88th-minute equaliser to snatch a 1-1 draw at La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid on Sunday (Mar 7) and keep his side in the title race.

Luis Suarez had put the hosts in charge in the 15th minute, producing an ice-cool finish to beat Thibaut Courtois after a lung-bursting run forward from his own half by midfielder Marcos Llorente.

The Uruguayan was denied a second goal later in the half by former Atletico keeper Courtois and early in the second period, while the Belgian also thwarted his compatriot Yannick Carrasco from point-blank range.

Benzema, who returned after missing Real's last three matches through injury, was the champions' focal point in attack and spurned three chances to score before equalising late on, playing a one-two with Casemiro to tap into the net.

An Atletico victory would have taken Diego Simeone's side eight points clear of their city rivals but Benzema's leveller means they lead third-placed Real by five points while Barcelona, in second, are three points behind.

Source: Reuters

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