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Real Madrid overcomes Las Palmas to reclaim lead of Spanish league

Vinícius Júnior leveled in the 66th after a nice assist by Eduardo Camavinga. Tchouaméni then powered in a header with six to play to complete the turnaround

Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior scores Real Madrid's first goal against Las Palmas.
Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior scores Real Madrid's first goal against Las Palmas.BORJA SUAREZ (REUTERS)

Vinícius Júnior and Aurélien Tchouaméni scored second-half goals as Real Madrid overcame Las Palmas 2-1 in the Canary Islands and reclaimed the lead of the Spanish league on Saturday.

After a first half stalemate between the league’s top defenses, midfielder Javi Muñoz put Las Palmas ahead in the 53rd minute from a pass by Sandro Ramírez.

Vinícius Júnior leveled in the 66th after a nice assist by Eduardo Camavinga. Tchouaméni then powered in a header with six to play to complete the turnaround.

Madrid moved two points ahead of Girona before it visits Celta Vigo on Sunday. Madrid also has an extra game to play. Las Palmas was in eighth place.

Madrid was without top scorer Jude Bellingham, who was serving a one-game suspension for accumulating five yellow cards. Bellingham and Girona’s Artem Dovbyk lead the league with 14 goals each.

While Girona has been the feel-good story of La Liga, Las Palmas has also far exceeded expectations for a team that played in the second division last season and lacks a quality striker. Midfielder Kirian Rodríguez leads the team with five goals, and has completed the second highest number of passes in the entire league.

Coach Francisco García Pimienta, who coached Barcelona’s youth and reserve teams, has managed to make Las Palmas a defensively sound side not by packing the area but rather by holding possession.

Defense dominated in the first half of the match between the Spain’s stingiest defenses — Madrid has allowed a league-low 14 goals and Las Palmas was next with 19.

Las Palmas started the second half well and broke through when Sandro led a counterattack before squaring a ball for Muñoz to fire home.

Madrid finally started to click with half an hour left. Camavinga found a way past Las Palmas’ backline with a chipped ball that Vinícius drilled in from an angle.

Madrid kept pressing for the winner and found it when Tchouaméni charged in to meet Toni Kroos’ corner kick and beat goalkeeper Álvaro Vallés.

Barcelona trailed Madrid by 10 points before hosting Villarreal late Saturday.

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