Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Deportivo Alaves 1 Real Madrid 2: Ceballos off the mark as champions bounce back

SoccerNews in La Liga 23 Sep 2017

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Dani Ceballos scored his first Real Madrid goals on his full debut as the LaLiga champions responded to their shock midweek defeat with a much-needed 2-1 win at Deportivo Alaves.

Madrid’s stuttering start to their domestic title defence continued with a 1-0 reverse against Real Betis at Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday, but Zinedine Zidane’s side have so far performed better away from home this term and that again proved to be the case in the Basque Country.

Cristiano Ronaldo started his second game of the week – despite a looming Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund – but Madrid’s hero was Ceballos, who netted the opener and then provided a quick response to Manu Garcia’s 40th-minute equaliser.

That was Alaves’ first goal of the campaign and the second could well have arrived here as they twice hit the woodwork in the second half, contributing to a nervy finish for Zidane’s men.

Ronaldo and his team-mates were similarly profligate at the other end – also twice striking the post – but their failings ultimately mattered little as Madrid moved back to within four points of rivals and league leaders Barcelona, who play at Girona later on Saturday.

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