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Vinicius Junior rescues below-par Real Madrid

Vinicius Junior made a telling difference as he came off the bench to inspire Real Madrid to a 2-0 win over Real Valladolid in Saturday afternoon’s La Liga clash.

The Brazilian youngster, introduced with less than a quarter of the match left, sent a deflected shot past Jordi Masip to put Los Blancos in front late on.

Out-of-form Madrid survived a major scare, as the visitors twice hit the crossbar at 0-0, and they sealed a first league win in six attempts through a late Sergio Ramos penalty.

Valladolid had rattled the crossbar twice in the second half and will count themselves highly unfortunate not to have further opened the wounds inflicted during last weekend’s El Clasico humiliation.

Solari, who replaced the sacked Julen Lopetegui following that 5-1 loss, presided over a 4-0 Copa del Rey victory over third-tier Melilla in the first match of his caretaker stewardship, but for the first 80 minutes this was a sobering reminder of the work needed to mend a misfiring side.

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