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Rediff.com  » Sports » Football Briefs: Ronaldo-less Real rally to beat Leganes, go up to 3rd

Football Briefs: Ronaldo-less Real rally to beat Leganes, go up to 3rd

Last updated on: February 22, 2018 22:35 IST

News of all that's transpired on and off the football field

Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos celebrates with teammate Lucas Vazquez after scoring their third goal from the penalty spot against Leganes during their La Liga match at Butarque Municipal Stadium, in Leganes on Wednesday

IMAGE: Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos celebrates with teammate Lucas Vazquez after scoring their third goal from the penalty spot against Leganes during their La Liga match at Butarque Municipal Stadium, in Leganes on Wednesday. Photograph: Susana Vera/Reuters

Real Madrid came from behind to win 3-1 at neighbours Leganes on Wednesday, despite coach Zinedine Zidane resting Cristiano Ronaldo, as they climbed into third place in the Liga standings for the first time since December 2.

Leganes defender Unai Bustinaza gave the home side the lead in the sixth minute by cashing in on some slack defending by Real, sliding in at the back post to knock the ball towards goal and then bundling in the rebound after poor goalkeeping from Kiko Casilla.

Spanish winger Lucas Vazquez pulled the champions back into the game five minutes later by latching on to a backheel by Casemiro and arrowing his finish into the far bottom corner.

Vazquez then returned the favour to Brazilian midfielder Casemiro, who finished off a slick passing move to give Real the lead in the 29th, while Real captain Sergio Ramos rounded off the scoring by converting a penalty in stoppage time.

Ronaldo missed his first league game since Sept. 20 as Zidane rotated his side. The Frenchman also rested first choice goalkeeper Keylor Navas and Gareth Bale while he was left without Toni Kroos, Marcelo and Luka Modric due to injury.

The game was originally scheduled for December, but had to be postponed due to Real's participation in the FIFA Club World Cup.

The win lifts Zidane's side above Valencia and into third in the standings on 48 points after 24 games, 14 behind leaders Barcelona and seven behind second-placed Atletico Madrid.

Sanchez will help United's CL campaign: Vidic

Former Manchester United stopper Nemanja Vidic is of the opinion that club's latest acquisition Alexis Sanchez will play a vital role in club's Champions League campaign.

During the January transfer window, Sanchez completed a transfer to Manchester United, in a swap deal that saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan move to Arsenal. There are reports that United will be paying the Chilean winger 350,000 pounds per week.

United played out a goalless draw with Sevilla in a round of 16 first leg clash of the Champions League on Wednesday.

"I think he (Sanchez) is a top-player with a lot of quality. He has made a difference in the Premier League over the past few years. Personally, I would have loved for him to join earlier, to travel with the team during pre-season with the club," Vidic told reporters on  the sidelines of the The Football Movement hosted by Premier League and India On Track.

"But we did sign him in January, and he will surely contribute towards fighting for trophies, including the Champions League this season,” added the Serbian stopper, who had made 211 appearances for the Red Devils.

Liverpool's Firmino cleared by FA over Holgate clash

Liverpool's Roberto Firmino

IMAGE: Andy Murray serves during a practice session ahead of the 2017 Australian Open. Photograph: Liverpool FC/Twitter

Liverpool's Roberto Firmino will not face disciplinary action after Everton's Mason Holgate alleged he used discriminatory language towards him in an FA Cup tie in January, the Football Association said on Wednesday.

English soccer's governing body said the evidence was not sufficient to raise a charge against the Brazil forward after he clashed with Holgate during the third round tie.

Holgate pushed Firmino, 26, into the advertising hoardings in the 40th minute of the Merseyside derby and the Liverpool forward reacted by verbally abusing Everton's 21-year-old English defender.

An animated Holgate, who is mixed-race, then complained to referee Bobby Madley about Firmino's comments.

"Following a detailed investigation into an allegation of discriminatory conduct against Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino by Everton’s Mason Holgate, The FA can confirm that it will not be taking any disciplinary action against Firmino," the FA said in a statement.

The governing body also said they were completely satisfied that the allegation was made in good faith by Holgate and there was no suggestion of it being "intentionally false or malicious".

Liverpool won the game 2-1.

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