Two goals in the space of four minutes from Nacho and Marco Asensio secured a 2-0 LaLiga win for Real Madrid at Cadiz on Saturday.
Los Blancos dominated the game at Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla but were wasteful until Nacho opened the scoring with his first goal of the season after 72 minutes.
Asensio added a second soon after as Carlo Ancelotti’s side moved 10 points behind leaders Barcelona at the expense of relegation-threatened Cadiz.
Ancelotti omitted Vinicius Junior and Toni Kroos ahead of the Champions League clash at Chelsea on Tuesday, while Luka Modric came off the bench late in an ultimately comfortable win.
Madrid started strongly but they were almost behind against the run of play when Cadiz captain Alfonso Espino let fly with a left-foot strike that rattled the far post.
Asensio and Karim Benzema were denied by alert Cadiz goalkeeper David Gil, although Los Blancos wanted a penalty for a tug on their captain before he got his shot away.
A left-foot shot from Benzema bounced down to safety off the crossbar after Rodrygo burst into the box from the left and Dani Ceballos’ volley from a corner was palmed over by Gil as Madrid failed to find a first-half breakthrough.
Rodrygo was unable to beat Gil after racing clear early in the second half before the forward inexplicably side-footed wide from six yards out when Federico Valverde presented him with an open goal.
Madrid continued to dominate and Valverde wasted a glorious chance to break the deadlock after Asensio showed great awareness and quality to pick him out with a quickly taken corner.
With Madrid’s frustration mounting, Nacho produced a quality right-foot finish from 20 yards out to finally open the scoring.
Asensio then cut in from the left to finish off with a slick move with a composed finish, sealing a deserved win.
What does it mean? Relief for wasteful Madrid
Madrid had 35 shots in a one-sided game, the most registered by any team in LaLiga this season, but it seemed like they may dropped more points until their patience finally paid off.
Although Barca, who play Getafe on Sunday, will surely dethrone Los Blancos, they will not give the title up without a fight and victory moved them five points ahead of third-placed Atletico Madrid ahead of their match against Almeria.
Ancelotti was also able to give some of his key men a rest before a Champions League quarter-final second leg at Chelsea, which the holders will start with a 2-0 lead.
Rodrygo runs Cadiz ragged
Although he was somehow unable to score in his 100th LaLiga game, Rodrygo was a livewire throughout on the back of an impressive showing against Chelsea in midweek.
Three of his five shots were on target and he had eight successive dribbles, causing Cadiz all sorts of problems.
8 – This was Rodrygo Goes’ game with the most dribbles completed (8) and attempted (13) in his @realmadriden career among all competitions.
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) April 15, 2023
Benzema fires a blank
Skipper Benzema had scored eight goals in his previous six appearances and will wonder how he fired a blank.
The prolific striker had nine shots, only hitting the target once and seeing a close-range effort bounce down off the bar before almost crossing the line.
Madrid head to Stamford Bridge looking to seal their place in the last four of the Champions League, while Cadiz travel to Espanyol on Friday.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.
You can follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/soccernews.com or Twitter: @soccernewsfeed.