Tchouameni's late header wins Real Madrid 2-1 over Las Palmas and takes first place
January 27, Reuters Aurelien Tchouameni of Real Madrid came off the bench to score a late header to help his team overcome a 2-1 deficit at Las Palmas on Saturday, moving them to the top of La Liga.
After 21 games, Carlo Ancelotti's team leads the standings with 54 points, two more than second-place Girona, who will play their 22nd league match of the year on Sunday at Celta Vigo.
Real struggled in the first half without their top scorer in La Liga, Jude Bellingham, who was suspended after receiving his fifth yellow card during their dramatic victory over bottom-place Almeria last weekend.
Despite being just four points away from European spots heading into the weekend, Las Palmas, who began the weekend in eighth place, played strong defense and shut down Real Madrid's Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo, who appeared to be missing the talented Bellingham leading the midfield show.
Real Madrid had the better of the play, but they were unable to generate many clear opportunities. In the 53rd minute, however, they were taken aback by the home team when Javi Munoz scored from close range after Sandro broke free on the right, sending over a low cross past a flailing Antonio Rudiger.
Real was awakened by the goal, and Vinicius Jr.'s rocket-heeled play caused endless problems for the Las Palmas defense.
In the 64th minute, he squandered a simple close-range opportunity, but a minute later, Eduardo Camavinga chipped in a brilliant pass that Vinicius Jr. easily handled and finished well to equalize.
Real applied constant pressure, and three minutes after replacing Toni Kroos, Frenchman Tchouameni scored a spectacular header from a corner kick to give Real the lead.
Ancelotti said at a press conference, "It's great to have a motivated bench that often contributes a lot." It is one of our tools. I have a lot of talented players on the bench who provide me with a lot of options to win a game."
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