Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Real Madrid return to winning ways

Marcelo ruled out with hamstring tear Getty Images
Arthur Frazier | 24 September, 2017, 00:37

The win came three days after Madrid lost at home to Real Betis 1-0. He has been less than impressed with Los Blancos's lack of intensity, but also believes his men did more than enough to merit wins at home, with their failure to be clinical in the final third proving to be their worst enemy.

Ceballos struck in the 10th minute and restored the defending champions' advantage two minutes before halftime.

Zinedine Zidane's side nearly made the game safe when Cristiano Ronaldo's drive cannoned back off the post, though up the other end, Alaves were also denied by the woodwork, Alfonso hitting the frame of the goal from distance.

Ceballos' pair of well-taken finishes before half-time took Madrid back to winning ways, although they had to survive Alaves hitting the woodwork twice.

"I am happy for (Ceballos)".

Real Madrid are without Toni Kroos with a rib injury. "He played very well, and besides the two goals he helped us a lot", coach Zinedine Zidane said.

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However, Alaves got the equalizer and their first goal of the season in the 40th minute through their captain Manu Garcia. His powerful header from a cross by Munir El Haddadi was the Basque Country club's first goal of the season.

Ceballos received a pass from Marco Asensio, fought through a tackle, and shot just inside the post for the opener.

Madrid reportedly paid Betis 16.5 million euros ($19.7 million) for the up-and-coming midfielder.

In the space of just five games Real have gone from red hot La Liga title favourites to trailing rivals Barcelona by seven points ahead of Saturday's trip to Alaves.

Ronaldo then swung a volley towards goal from a corner, but his effort flew just over Pacheco's crossbar.

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