Madrid's perfect season comes to an end as Benzema misses a penalty

Madrid’s perfect season comes to an end as Benzema misses a penalty

MADRID – It wasn’t the return to action that Karim Benzema had hoped for.

Back in the Real Madrid squad after a long injury layoff, the French striker missed a penalty in the second half that helped end the team’s perfect start to the season.

Madrid’s nine-game winning streak in all competitions was halted on Sunday after a 1-1 home draw against 10th-placed Osasuna in the Spanish league.

The result also cost Madrid the league lead, as it moved past Barcelona after a 1-0 win in Mallorca on Saturday. Both teams are tied on 19 points but the Catalan club is ahead on goal difference.

Benzema, who had missed three consecutive matches before the international break with a right foot injury, had a chance to give Madrid a goal in the 79th minute, but his shot was saved by Osasuna goalkeeper Sergio Herrera.

It was Benzema’s third straight penalty against the Osasuna goalkeeper. He had two penalties saved by Herrera in April when Madrid won.

And things clearly didn’t go Benzema’s way as shortly afterwards the striker had a goal ruled out for offside.

“We needed Benzema to convert the penalty,” Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said. “He usually does. It was an accident that happens sometimes.

Vincenzo Jr. opened the scoring in the 42nd after finding the far corner with what appeared to be an attempted cross into the area, but the visitors leveled in the 50th through Kek Garcia.

Osasuna went a man down when David Garcia was sent off for a foul on Benzema, who scored a penalty.

It was Osasuna’s first draw this season after four wins and two defeats, keeping the Pamplona club in sixth place. It earned a point at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium despite playing without the suspended Chemie Avila, one of the standout players.

Ancelotti was without veteran midfielder Luka Modric and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois through injury.

A minute’s silence was held before every match in the Spanish league in honor of the victims of the tragedy at an Indonesian football stadium on Saturday night.

Valencia protests

A goalkeeper error six minutes into second-half stoppage time allowed Valencia to draw 2-2 with Espanyol.

Espanyol goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez thought a high shot by Ari Kamrat was on target and let the ball end up in the net for the visitors to equalise.

Fernandez fell to the ground in despair and later put his hands to his head as he pleaded for forgiveness from the home fans.

Espanyol were looking for their first home win of the season. It is unbeaten in seven consecutive home games, dating back to last season.

The hosts took the lead in the 83rd through Sergi Darder, after Gabriel Palista opened the scoring in the 53rd and Joselo equalized for Valencia in the 56th.

Valencia, who stayed in mid-table, played with 10 men after Marcos Andre was sent off in the 85th. Espanyol, sitting close to the relegation zone, had Martin Braithwaite red carded early in stoppage time.

SOCIEDAD’S GOALFEST

Real Sociedad beat Girona for their second straight win.

Alexandre Sorlot scored twice and Tekfosa Kobo added another goal for Sociedad, who moved up to seventh place.

Tati Castellanos was among the scorers for mid-table Girona, who have lost two in a row.

BETIS FALLS

Real Betis could not shake off a red card in the first half and lost 1-0 to Celta Vigo for their second league defeat of the season.

Gabry Vega scored the winner in the ninth minute for mid-table Celta, who were without coach Eduardo Cudet due to travel home to Argentina for personal reasons.

Betis lost Luiz Felipe with a straight red card in the 20th.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side stayed close to the top of the standings, as it was five wins and one loss.

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