Benzema injury adds to Real Madrid's misery after hard-fought draw against Elche

Real fight back from two goals down at Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday

Real Madrid's forward Karim Benzema picked up an injury against Elche at the Santiago Bernabeu. AFP
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LaLiga leaders Real Madrid fought back from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw against Elche after Eder Militao's goal in stoppage time on Sunday.

Real Madrid wasted a golden chance to increase the gap at the top after second-placed Sevilla stumbled at home with a draw against Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Elche opened a two-goal lead with Lucas Boye netting in the first half and Pere Milla scoring after the break. Luka Modric reduced the deficit with a penalty after 82 minutes and Vinicius Junior found Militao inside the six-yard box in the 92nd minute and he headed the equaliser.

However, Real's performance gave hope to their title rivals as Karim Benzema not only missed a penalty but also went off injured at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Benzema's injury is perhaps the biggest concern. The Frenchman was clutching his left hamstring as he walked down the tunnel in the second half. Real will hope it is nothing serious, with their Champions League first leg against Paris Saint-Germain three weeks away.

It completed a poor outing for Benzema, who had missed his first penalty as a Real Madrid player after scoring all of his previous 16.

Real created a handful of chances in the first half but were lethargic, their passing sloppy and the sharpness of recent performances lacking.

Still, it looked like it would be enough when Vinicius Junior was hacked down by Helibelton Palacios in the 33rd minute and the referee pointed to the spot. Benzema, though, blazed over.

The miss galvanised Elche. Yohan Mojica sent a ball down the left for Fidel to run onto, and he crossed into the area where Boye was free to nod in.

Madrid struggled and were not helped by Benzema departing. Hazard thought he had a penalty after going down under Diego Gonzalez's challenge but the replay showed contact was light and the decision was reversed.

The chances grew increasingly strained, with shots rushed or from distance.

Elche made it two in the 76th minute, with Boye twisting away from David Alaba and shifting right to Milla, who drove into the far corner.

Madrid were handed a lifeline in the 82st minute as Alaba's flicked header caught Milla on the hand and, in Benzema's absence, Modric slotted in the penalty.

They had eight minutes to find an equaliser. Vinicius raced clear but Rodrygo shot wide and then in the 92nd minute Vinicius retrieved an overhit pass off the line and crossed for Militao, who headed in.

Real have 50 points from 22 games, four ahead of Sevilla.

Updated: January 23, 2022, 5:58 PM