Barcelona close gap as Real draw at Las Palmas

Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:12pm EDT
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MADRID (Reuters) - Substitute Sergio Araujo struck a late equaliser as Las Palmas held Real Madrid to a 2-2 draw and left them with a one-point lead over Barcelona at the top of La Liga on Saturday.

Karim Benzema had given Real a 2-1 lead in the 67th, three minutes after coming on, but the hosts spoiled the visitors' night with Araujo's 85th minute goal.

Barca, playing without the injured Lionel Messi for the first time this season, won 5-0 at 10-man Sporting Gijon earlier in the day. Neymar scored twice while Luis Suarez, Arda Turan and Rafinha also hit the back of the net.

"I'm disappointed with the two goals we gave away," Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said. "We had the game under control but we had a lack of concentration at the end. We deserved to win this game."

Real, who saw their record-equalling 16-game winning run in La Liga halted in Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Villarreal, took a deserved 33rd-minute lead.

Marco Asensio headed in the rebound after goalkeeper Javi Varas was unable to hold onto Nacho's powerful strike.

The hosts equalised five minutes later when Raphael Varane's poor clearance from Momo's cross fell to Tana and the Spanish forward slotted the ball in from 10 metres.

Benzema replaced Asensio in the 64th minute and the Frenchman scored after Cristiano Ronaldo's powerful shot was kept out by Varas.

Zidane took Ronaldo off after 71 minutes with the Portugal captain, who had failed to score on Wednesday, having endured another disappointing performance.   Continued...

Football Soccer - Sporting Gijon v Barcelona - Spanish La Liga Santander - El Molinon stadium, Gijon, Spain- 24/09/16. Barcelona's Neymar (C) celebrates his goal with teammates. REUTERS/Eloy Alonso