Valencia scrape vital win over Real Madrid amid Vinicius 'racism' storm

AFP , Sunday 21 May 2023

Valencia snatched a crucial 1-0 win over Real Madrid to boost their La Liga survival hopes on Sunday but their win was tarnished by an ugly incident involving apparent racism aimed at Real Madrid winger Vinicius Junior.

Real Madrid s Brazilian forward Vinicius Junior reacts to being insulted pointing at the stands during the Spanish league football match between Valencia CF and Real Madrid CF at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia on May 21, 2023. AFP


Youngster Diego Lopez struck for Valencia in the first half but the chaotic second period saw Vinicius square off with home fans at Mestalla and later sent off for hitting Hugo Duro during a brawl.

There was a delay of several minutes after Vinicius appeared to be racially abused by a Valencia supporter.

The Brazilian forward stood in front of the fans behind the goal and pointed to one, with team-mate Eder Militao by his side.

Referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea spoke to stadium officials, who made an announcement calling for racist insults to stop before play resumed.

The delay led to 10 minutes being added on at the end, with Giorgi Mamardashvili producing a stunning save to deny Fede Valverde.

The Valencia goalkeeper then produced another spectacular stop to tip Toni Kroos's free kick over the bar.

Players from both sides ended up in a brawl in stoppage time which ended in a red card for Vinicius for lashing out at Duro with his arm.

Valencia had taken the lead in the 33rd minute when Lopez escaped Ferland Mendy and tucked home at the back post.

Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois made a fine save to deny Javi Guerra as Valencia fought for their lives against a Madrid side with little left at stake, besides aiming to finish ahead of rivals Atletico Madrid.

Diego Simeone's side overtook Madrid by a point with a 3-0 win against Osasuna earlier on.

Valencia's victory helped them rise to 15th, five points clear of the relegation zone, sparking huge celebrations at full-time, with the team almost safe.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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