Karim Benzema, Real Madrid Salvage 1-1 Draw vs. Leganes in La Liga

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIApril 15, 2019

Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league football match between Club Deportivo Leganes SAD and Real Madrid CF at the Estadio Municipal Butarque in Leganes on April 15, 2019. (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP)        (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)
PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/Getty Images

Karim Benzema rescued a point for Real Madrid against Leganes in a 1-1 draw in La Liga on Monday night at Butarque.  

Los Blancos enjoyed plenty of possession in the first half but struggled to create clear chances. Marco Asensio's low shot that was saved by goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar after eight minutes was their best effort.

Leganes took the lead right before half-time through Jonathan Silva. The ball came to Martin Braithwaite after a long throw, and he teed up the left-back to side-foot a low shot past Keylor Navas.

Real Madrid were quick to get back on level terms after the break. Luka Modric played in Benzema, who saw his initial shot saved by Cuellar but slotted home the rebound from a tight angle.

Leganes did get the ball in the back of the net late on through Youssef En-Nesyri, but it was ruled out as the striker had just strayed offside. 

The result means Real Madrid stay in third place in the table behind Atletico Madrid, while Leganes move into 12th place.

      

Zidane Should Keep Faith With Fede Valverde

Zinedine Zidane made changes to his team for the trip to Leganes but kept faith in 20-year-old Federico Valverde, who made his third La Liga start of the season in midfield:

The youngster replaced Toni Kroos in the starting XI against Eibar last time out and kept his place in the team for Monday's clash ahead of Dani Ceballos:

Valverde was one of Real Madrid's brighter players during the match, and he helped Los Blancos dominate possession in the first half at Butarque:

The midfielder is a strong, dynamic presence in the middle of the pitch and looks to have a big future ahead of him at Real Madrid:

Valverde has been linked with a move away from Real Madrid after struggling for game time earlier this season. However, he has said he wants to stay and fight for a first-team spot:

His performance against Leganes offered plenty of promise and shows Zidane should keep faith with the youngster.

Los Blancos are expected to have a big clear-out in the summer and could sell a host of players, according to Mario Cortegana at AS.

Zidane has spoken about Kroos and seemed non-committal over his future:

Meanwhile, Valverde already appears to be pushing for a first-team spot and, at just 20, will surely only improve as he develops at Real Madrid.

     

What's Next?

Real Madrid welcome Athletic Bilbao to the Santiago Bernabeu in La Liga on Sunday, while Leganes are away at struggling Villarreal.

Related

    Why It's a Very Big Premier League Weekend

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Why It's a Very Big Premier League Weekend

    Dave Tickner
    via Football365

    Atletico Ready to Dump Diego Costa Over 'Bad Behaviour'

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Atletico Ready to Dump Diego Costa Over 'Bad Behaviour'

    via Mail Online

    Raheem Sterling Award for Challenging Racism

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Raheem Sterling Award for Challenging Racism

    Rory Marsden
    via Bleacher Report

    Paul Ince: Solskjaer Needs to 'Get Over' Sir Alex

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Paul Ince: Solskjaer Needs to 'Get Over' Sir Alex

    Matt Jones
    via Bleacher Report