- Carlos Soler scores hat-trick of penalties
Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid side suffer defeat in the absence of coronavirus-infected Eden Hazard and Casemiro; Real Sociedad beat a nearly unrecognisable Granada side 2-0
Karim Benzema put Madrid ahead with a scorching strike from outside the area only for Valencia to pull level eventually with the first of Soler’s three penalties after a most unusual turn of events.
Soler saw his spot-kick saved by Thibaut Courtois and then hit the post on the rebound, while team-mate Yunus Musah netted the loose ball, only to see the goal ruled out after a VAR review showed him encroaching in the area.
A re-take was ordered and Soler made no mistake at the second attempt.
Valencia took the lead before half-time through a freak own goal from Raphael Varane, who unwittingly sent the ball flying over his head and just over the line, the goal being awarded several minutes later following another VAR review.
Valencia’s teenage forward Lee Kang-in almost struck a third early in the second period but Courtois turned his shot onto the post.
The home side kept up the momentum though and won two further penalties, for a foul by Marcelo on Maxi Gomez then a handball by Sergio Ramos.
Soler converted each time, becoming only the third player in the history of La Liga to score three penalties in a single match.
Five in a row for Real Sociedad
Real Sociedad's players beat virus-depleted Granada
Real Sociedad’s players beat virus-depleted Granada
Earlier, Real Sociedad beat a nearly unrecognisable Granada side 2-0 to return to the top of La Liga.
The visitors’ attempt to get the game postponed due to a spate of coronavirus cases was turned down by authorities, meaning they were forced to make nine changes from last week’s 1-1 draw with Levante and started with five players aged 20 or under.
Granada’s makeshift side made a bright start but Sociedad took the lead midway through the first half through left-back Nacho Monreal, before a Mikel Oyarzabal penalty five minutes later doubled their advantage.
Brazilian forward Willian Jose had a spot-kick saved by Granada’s 18-year-old ‘keeper Angel Jimenez in the second half and Sociedad ended the game with 10 men as defender Robin Le Normand was shown a straight red card in the 86th minute.
Granada earned a penalty in added time but Darwin Machis was denied by an excellent save from Alex Remiro and the Basques celebrated a fifth consecutive La Liga victory.
Other La Liga results:
Getafe 1-3 Villarreal
Levante 1-1 Alaves
Valladolid 2-1 Athletic Bilbao
Mourinho Compares Victor Osimhen to one of the African legend, Didier Drogba
AS Roma manager, Jose Mourinho, has compared Super Eagles of Nigeria and Napoli of Italy hitman, Victor Osimhen, to Chelsea and Ivory Coast legend, Didier Drogba.
NEWSBREAK reports that the Nigerian striker netted a world-class goal as his side, Napoli, marched towards the Serie A title on Sunday. Osimhen’s classic goal came against Mourinho’s Roma at the Diego Maradona stadium where Napoli won 2-1.
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Speaking after the match, Mourinho, a former Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid manager, said: “He (Osimhen) is of the same level as Drogba, but Didier didn’t dive.
Kelechi Iheanacho’s record goal helps Leicester qualify for last 16 FA Cup
Leicester city needed the goal from Nigerian footballer Kelechi Iheanacho to avoid a shock elimination from the FA Cup with a 1-0 win at Walsall on Saturday.
The Nigerian has scored more goals in the competition than any other player since making his debut in 2016.
Iheanacho’s 17th goal in 23 FA Cup appearances had some fortune as his strike from the edge of the box took a deflection for the only goal 23 minutes from time.
Leicester, Leeds and Man United join Manchester City as the first four sides to book their place in the last 16 of the competition.
French footballer gets 30-year ban for punching referee
An amateur footballer in France, described as a “fanatic”, was on Friday banned from playing for 30 years for punching a referee.
“The penalty is appropriate. These fanatics must not be able to set foot on a football pitch again. They have no place there,” said Benoit Laine, president of the Loiret football district in central France.
The 25-year-old player, who was not named by officials, was angry at being sent off while featuring for Entente Sportive Gatinaise in a local cup game on January 8.
He punched the referee so hard that the official was signed off work for two days.
The team was also kicked out of the tournament for the next two seasons.
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