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Real Madrid Stumbles in Title Race as Toni Kroos Misses Winning Goal

Toni Kroos misses the winning goal Real Madrid surprisingly stumbles in the title race

February 18, 2024, 5:01 p.m

Toni Kroos leaves Real Madrid with surprisingly important points in the title fight in the Spanish La Liga. The defending champions cannot get past a draw with relegation candidate Rayo Vallecano. Also because Kroos fails with a strong free kick.

Real Madrid suffered an unexpected loss of points in the Spanish football championship. In the city derby at table 14th. Rayo Vallecano, the leaders and record champions of the Primera División, couldn’t get past a 1-1 (1-1) draw even with Toni Kroos coming on as a late substitute. Raúl de Tomás equalized the visitors’ early lead by center forward Joselu (3rd minute) with a hand penalty (26th).

At Rayo, the new coach ñigo Pérez made a successful debut. Real had to do without the injured German national defender Antonio Rüdiger. Kroos only came on as a substitute for Eduardo Camavinga in the 70th minute for RB Leipzig’s Champions League opponents. Nine minutes later, the 34-year-old had a huge chance, but his well-placed free kick was parried by home goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski.

Both teams had several chances to win, especially in the final phase. In the fifth minute of injury time, Real’s Dani Carvajal was sent off with a yellow-red card after a foul. Despite the surprising loss of points, the Royals continue to lead the table with 62 points from 25 matches.

The surprise pursuers FC Girona have 56 points and can shorten the gap with a win on Monday at Athletic Bilbao. FC Barcelona is in third place with 54 points. The defending champions from Catalonia won 2-1 (1-0) at Celta de Vigo on Saturday with two goals from ex-Dortmund and Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski.

2024-02-18 16:01:00
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