Real Madrid End 818-Day Hoodoo in La Liga With 3-1 Win Over Celta Vigo

?Yes, its the first round of La Liga fixtures. Yes, to begin judging the outcome of the next 37 matches based solely on the opening day is foolish.

However, Real Madrid won’t care tuppence after (briefly) putting an end to a rotten run in La Liga which has seen the gradually fall further behind the country’s leading side, Barcelona.


?La Liga kicked off on Friday as Athletic Club caused an early shock by beating La Blaugrana 1-0 courtesy of a stunning overhead kick by Aritz Aduriz. In falling to defeat on the opening day, an opportunity was presented to Zinedine Zidane’s side to do something they hadn’t done for 818 days. Move above ?Barcelona in the league table.

The stat comes via ?Marca, who note that you would have to go back to the end of the 2016/17 season to find the last time ?Los Blancos were sitting above the Catalan outfit in the table, as they secured the title for the 33rd time.

Since then, not for a single day have Madrid been able to look down the table for their fierce rivals instead of up it, with two years and nearly three months making for an agonisingly long time for their fans to have something to cheer about.


They have been matched for points during that run, but an inferior goals difference never saw them climb above.

Furthermore, the victory over Celta Vigo had added value as it is was first time since the 2007/08 season that Madrid have been above Barcelona after the first matchday. That year, Los Blancos went on to win the title.

It is, of course, only the first match of the season. But, it will potentially provide Zidane’s new-look side with a degree of confidence moving forward for the rest of the campaign.


Even with the added incentive of overtaking the champions, Madrid made hard work of the win. ?Karim Benzema got the ball rolling in the 12th minute, but a 56th minute red card to Luka Modric threatened to derail the early celebrations. Madrid were undeterred though, as goals from Toni Kroos and Lucas Vazquez ensured Iker Losada’s late consolation mattered little.

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Zinedine Zidane on Bale’s Future, Modric’s Red Card and Barcelona Losing Following Celta Vigo Win

?Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has confirmed winger Gareth Bale will stay at the club this summer, following Los Blancos’ dominant 3-1 victory over Celta Vigo on Saturday. 

Karim Benzema opened the scoring for Real, following some wonderful trickery by Bale to skip away from opposition defenders. Luka Modric was then shown a straight red card in the second half for a late challenge on Denis Suarez, but Toni Kroos eased the nerves with a sensational drive from 25 yards. Lucas Vazquez then rounded off proceedings with a clever finish. 

Celta were able to grab a consolation, but Zidane was very pleased with his team’s performance. 

Here’s what the Frenchman had to say following the much needed victory…


Zidane on Gareth Bale’s future

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?Bale had an outstanding game upon his return to the team, creating the first goal. His performance drew numerous questions from reporters after the game, who were keen to know more about his future. Zidane told reporters per Marca: “He [Bale] is going to stay.

“Everyone we have helps us to think positively…you have to focus on the season, nothing more. [Eden] Hazard’s injury was bad luck for us, but it didn’t change the idea we had with Bale starting the game.

“Gareth, James…everyone here is going to defend the shirt the way it deserves to be.”

Bale’s future has been one of the hot topics of the summer, following his fallout with Zidane. It seemed as though it would finally end with the Welshman leaving the club, but Zidane has since performed a U-turn and now appears set to keep hold of the winger.


Zidane on How They Performed After Modric’s Red Card

Luka Modric

Modric was shown a straight red card, after he put in a late challenge on Suarez. While Zidane was coy over his stance on the decision to send Modric off, the Frenchman was willing to discuss how he felt ?Los Blancos reacted.

He added: “We played a very complete game from the start. And did so well with 10 players. We suffered to get the result…Vinicius and Gareth did well defensively, and did Lucas [Vazquez] and Isco later.

“In defence we were very good, and then we know what we can do when we have the ball. I’m happy after pre-season, which was complicated in terms of results, but was good in terms of work.”


Zidane on Barcelona Losing on Friday Night

Aritz Aduriz

Following their respective results, it’s the first time in 818 days that Real Madrid have been above rivals Barcelona in the La Liga table.

Barcelona lost away at Athletic Club thanks to Aritz Aduriz’s stunning overhead kick, but Zidane opted not to express joy over starting the season ahead of the club’s bitter rivals, instead directing the praise back to his players.

He said, via ?AS: “We’re focused on us. What’s important is picking up three points. The players deserve to be congratulated.”


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Erik ten Hag Confirms Real Madrid Target Donny van de Beek Will Stay at Ajax

?Ajax manager Erik ten Hag has confirmed that Dutch midfielder Donny Van de Beek is set to stay at the club, despite strong interest from Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Van de Beek has been a key figure for Ajax, helping them reach the semi-finals of the Champions League last season. The 22-year-old has also made a flying start to the 2019/20 Eredivisie campaign, scoring twice and assisting twice in two matches. 

Donny van de Beek

The Dutch midfielder has been heavily linked with a move to Los Blancos, as Zinedine Zidane searched for reinforcement in the centre of the park. However, in a report by ?De Telegraaf, Ajax manager Ten Hag revealed that the player will remain at the club.   

“Donny van de Beek is playing for Ajax this year,” claimed the manager. 

To add to this, Zidane has backed up Ten Hag’s claims by saying: “No one else comes.”

Zidane seemingly has his heart set on ?Paul Pogba, who he believes is the man ?Real Madrid need. However, following the close of the English transfer window, it now appears unlikely that ?Manchester United would be willing to let go of their star midfielder. 

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As a result, there is a belief that the Spanish side know what the asking price is for Van de Beek, and can therefore go back and land his signature if they wished to do so. But, Zidane is reluctant to splash the cash on a midfielder that isn’t Pogba. 

Ajax fans can now breathe a sigh of relief, having scraped through in a Champions League qualifier against PAOK. The club have already lost Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong to Juventus and Barcelona respectively, but it now appears as though Van de Beek will be staying put, for this season anyway. 

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Twitter Reacts as Gareth Bale Stars & Toni Kroos Scores Stunner in Real Madrid Win

Real Madrid put their pre-season disappointment behind them, as they comfortably swept aside Celta Vigo 3-1 in their opening fixture of the 2019/20 La Liga season.

Karim Benzema opened the scoring, before Toni Kroos scored with a stunning long-range strike and Lucas Vazquez put the icing on the cake for Los Blancos. It was just the start Zinedine Zidane would have wanted from his side. ?


?Real Madrid watched Barcelona fall to a shock defeat against Athletic Club, and knew they had the chance to put in a strong performance and lay down a marker for the rest of the season.

Before a ball had even been kicked, football fans from around the world were sent into utter disbelief when the team-sheets were released. Gareth Bale, a man who was seemingly disowned by his manager, was selected to start the game.



Meanwhile, some fans were still reminiscing about a certain former star. 

However, the football eventually got underway, and the match started at a frantic pace. It took Los Blancos just 11 minutes to break the deadlock, with Benzema firing home from close range. But, the goal was all about one man – that’s right, ?Gareth Bale. His pace, trickery and skill took him past a number of players, before finding Benzema free.


 




The game settled down after the goal, with neither side posing a real threat. However, Celta Vigo began to find their way into the game as the half wore on, and nearly found an equaliser but were denied by a brilliant piece of defending by Raphael Varane. Real then went straight down the other end and almost found a second through ?Luka Modric. 

In the final minute of the half, Alvaro Odriozola was robbed as he took an age to make up his mind. Unfortunately for Celta, Iago Aspas was a fraction offside when the ball came to him, and the goal was ruled out. But that didn’t stop people from voicing their opinions.



The away side had Luka Modric sent off early in the second half for a late tackle. He pled his innocence but ultimately, the referee’s decision was made. 


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Fans were very quick to forget the red card however, as a Toni Kroos screamer put Real 2-0 up. From 25-30 yards, he unleashed a wonder strike, which sent fans into meltdown. 

What. A. Beauty.






Real Madrid dictated the game from then – despite having lost a man – and rounded off the performance with a neat goal, finished off by Lucas Vasquez. 

Unfortunately for Zidane, Thibaut Courtois was unable to keep a clean sheet, as Vigo struck in the final minute. However, it was a strong showing from a team that was without a number of new signings, including mega-money star Eden Hazard.

Real Madrid will be hoping to maintain this form, as they go in search of reclaiming the title from rivals Barcelona. They next play host to Real Valladolid on Saturday.

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Celta Vigo 1-3 Real Madrid: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Bale Stars in Convincing Los Blancos Win

?Real Madrid began their 2019/20 La Liga campaign with an impressive 3-1 win away to Celta Vigo, with goals from Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Lucas Vazquez earning them the points.

The game started scrappy, and it took Sergio Ramos just a matter of minutes to commit his first foul of the new season. However, Real Madrid made their early dominance count in the 11th minute – a tap-in from Karim Benzema. Gareth Bale was the man to create the goal, with a stunning weaving run ending in him picking out his teammate in the six yard box. 

Celta came close to the equaliser on the half hour mark, but Raphael Varane made a crucial last ditch interception. On the stroke of half time, Celta had a goal controversially ruled out by VAR, as Iago Aspas was marginally offside – much to the relief of Alvaro Odriozola, who dwelled on the ball and had it taken off him. 


Los Blancos started the second 45 slowly, and matters got a whole lot worse when Luka Modric was shown a red card ten minutes in for a late challenge. Zidane’s men quickly put this behind them however, as Kroos unleashed a rocket that flew in, clipping the underside of the crossbar on its way.  

Vazquez put the icing on the cake late on, finishing off a nice move involving Marcelo and Benzema. Thibaut Courtois was unable to keep a clean sheet though, as Iker Losada drilled home in added time. 


CELTA VIGO

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Rubén (6); Kevin (5), Costas (5), Araujo (5), Olaza (4); Beltrán (5), Lobotka (5), Brais Méndez (4), Denis Suárez (6); Iago Aspas (7), Fernandez (5)

Substitutes: Sisto (5), Cheikh (N/A), Losada (7)


REAL MADRID

Key Talking Point

Following a disappointing pre-season, ?Real Madrid fans were hoping their big-money signing Eden Hazard could give them reason to be optimistic against Celta. However, this was not to be the case as he was unable to play due to injury. Enter ?Gareth Bale.

Not so long ago, Zinedine Zidane had made it abundantly clear that the Welshman’s services were no longer required. Yet somehow, he miraculously made it into the starting XI. And he wasted no time in getting into his stride, assisting the opening goal. His link up play with the rest of the attacking line will be very pleasing for Real Madrid fans. 

Elsewhere, a key decision for the manager to make was whether to opt for the 3-5-2 formation which has been used on occasion in pre-season, or to return to a four man defence. In the end, Zidane opted for the latter, and there were definite frailties. The hosts were unlucky to have the goal at the end of the first half ruled out, but it all stemmed from a defensive mistake. 

Denis Suarez,Alvaro Odriozola

The defence was continuously carved open with just one pass. Early in the second half, Casemiro cleared the ball off the line, as Celta swept forward and got in behind. The hosts continued to create, but were unable to take their chances until the final minute. 

Zidane will now be without Modric following his dismissal. But, it does give an opportunity to either Isco or James to step in and take their chance. 


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Courtois (6); Odriozola (4), Varane (6), Ramos (6), Marcelo (7); Casemiro (6), Kroos (7), Modric (4); Vinicius Jr (6), Benzema (7), Bale (8*)

Substitutes: Lucas V. (7)., Isco (6), Jovic (N/A)


STAR MAN – Gareth Bale

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Zidane made the tactical decision to leave Isco, Lucas Vazquez, Luka Jovic and James Rodriguez on the bench. Instead, he went for Bale, who spent the summer in a war of words with his manager. The Frenchman made it perfectly clear that he would no longer require his services. But, as Real commenced their 2019/20 La Liga campaign, Bale was in the starting lineup. 

The Welshman was outstanding, making direct runs and was an all-round threat. In the 11th minute, he weaved through Celta’s defence, before cooly picking out Karim Benzema in the middle to slot home. At one point in the summer, there were rumours that he wasn’t even training. But, he was fit and sharp throughout the game. 

Towards the end of the first half, he made an intelligent diagonal run and was fed through, but his shot was well kept out. Los Blancos had to soak up pressure in the second half, meaning opportunities were limited. However, it was a show of faith from Zidane to substitute Vinicius Jr. before Bale eventually came off in the 75th minute. 





Looking Ahead

Celta play host to Valencia next on Saturday, before travelling to face Sevilla in a tough run of fixtures. 

Real Madrid next host Real Valladolid on Saturday – their first home game of the 2019/20 La Liga season. Los Blancos will then travel to face Villarreal. 

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