Benzema strikes late to give Madrid 3-2 win over Huesca

BARCELONA, Spain — Karim Benzema scored in the 89th minute to give Real Madrid a 3-2 victory over bottom side Huesca in the Spanish league on Sunday.

Benzema curled a shot from the left side of the area into the far corner of the net to save host Madrid from an embarrassing draw in the second game since Zinedine Zidane returned to coaching the club.

Huesca stunned Madrid three minutes in at the Santiago Bernabeu when Ezequiel Avila won the ball back from Nacho Fernandez and found Juan Hernandez alone near the penalty spot to drive in the surprising opener.

Francisco ‘Isco’ Alarcon equalized in the 22nd when Brahim Diaz played a ball back across the goalmouth for his teammate to tap in. Benzema had combined with Diaz before drawing a save from goalkeeper Roberto Santamaria that left him off his line.

Huesca continued to give Madrid trouble going forward, while Madrid– especially Diaz and Marcelo– erred on several passes that fed the visitors’ attack.

After Huesca failed to convert, Benzema also set up Dani Ceballos with a headed pass to put the hosts in front in the 62nd.

But the France striker had to come to the rescue again after Xabier Etxeita levelled with a header in the 74th.

Zidane left Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric, defender Raphael Varane and midfielders Toni Kroos and Marco Asensio off his squad.

With goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois recovering from tendinitis in his right leg, Zidane also kept Keylor Navas on the bench in favour of the coach’s 20-year-old son, Luca Zidane. It was Luca’s second appearance in the league, following his debut last season in a 2-2 draw at Villarreal.

Nineteen-year-old Diaz got his first start since transferring from Manchester City this winter. Previously, he had played a total of 24 minutes for Madrid.

Madrid remained in third place — a distant 12 points from leader Barcelona with nine rounds left.


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