Real Madrid vs Alaves 3-0 – All Goals & Extended Highlights – La Liga 02/04/2017
Goals from Karim Benzema, Isco and Nacho helped Real Madrid overcome a very tough Deportivo Alaves side in a 3-0 victory on Sunday afternoon at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.Benzema’s first-half goal was not without controversy, as the Frenchman appeared to be in an offside position during the build-up to goal. But there was no denying the validity of Isco and Nacho’s late scores, which helped restore Real’s five-point advantage over Barcelona in the table.The final scoreline was harsh on Alaves, who for 85 minutes went toe-to-toe with Los Blancos and could have easily come away with a point. The visitors not only frustrated the Real attack but also controlled much of the midfield during the second half. However, Real manager Zinedine Zidane’s late substitutions bore fruit and enabled Real to put away the pesky Basques.
With players returning midweek from the international break, Zidane made a number of changes to his starting XI, mostly in defence. Kiko Casilla came in for Keylor Navas at goalkeeper, while Danilo replaced Dani Carvajal at right-back, Pepe was in for Sergio Ramos at centre-back and Nacho got the nod for Marcelo. Otherwise, it was the usual cast of characters for Los Blancos, with the exception of Isco in for the suspended Casemiro in midfield.Zidane was forced to reshuffle his back line just minutes in, as Varane suffered an injury and was forced to withdraw from the match. The Frenchman brought on Carvajal to play right-back, switching Danilo to left-back, while Nacho moved into the centre-back spot vacated by Varane.Real were the more dominant side but still found themselves without a clear-cut chance as the clock crested the 20-minute mark. Isco then probed from distance but his right-footer sailed over the crossbar, followed by a Ronaldo effort from the left that ended with Pacheco diving low to make the save.
Finally the breakthrough would come on 30 minutes from Real’s most in-form player, Benzema. The Frenchman fed the streaking Carvajal down the right and then Spain international promptly cut back for Benzema, who rocketed in a shot for the 1-0 lead.Replays later showed that Benzema was slightly offside when he received the ball before passing to Carvajal, yet with no Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in place – unlike Spain’s midweek friendly in France – the goal stood.Real nearly added a second right before half-time when Danilo capped a bursting run down the left with a pass into Gareth Bale, but the Welshman’s left-footer rolled just wide of the far post.Alaves were showing the same mettle they displayed back at the beginning of the season when they walked out of the Camp Nou with a 2-1 win, and Mauricio Pellegrino’s men were keen to get something from Sunday’s contest. The Basques played a more positive brand of football to start the second-half, while maintaining the same solidity in defence that they showed in the first minutes.
With each minute of the second-half Alaves took more control and could have equalised through a Deyverson header and then Edgar at the far post. Zidane looked to restore order to the midfield and brought on Mateo Kovacic to replace Luka Modric, who had arguably one of his poorest outings in a Real shirt. But Alaves kept insisting and Manu Garcia was mere inches away from an equaliser in the 70th minute but popped his header just wide.The Bernabeu was growing antsy and each giveaway or lapse in defence was followed by a growing number of whistles. Alaves were winning almost every 50-50 ball and controlled the midfield. Even when Real did get in on goal, they were misfiring, evidenced by Ronaldo screwing a shot wide left when played in by Benzema.Zidane looked to close out the match by subbing in a midfielder for a forward, as Benzema yielded his place to Lucas Vazquez, thus shifting Real to a 4-4-2 from their usual 4-3-3. The change improved Real and minutes after coming on, Lucas Vazquez set up a chance for Isco on the right, and the former Malaga man obliged by firing in a bullet past Pacheco at the near post to give Real a 2-0 lead.
Nacho then sealed the three points with a late goal via header to give Real the 3-0 scoreline when the centre-back reacted first to a Bale free kick that hit the crossbar.Real return to La Liga action on Wednesday with a crosstown visit to Leganes.Match Sheet:3.- Real Madrid: Casilla; Danilo, Pepe, Varane (Carvajal, min. 9), Nacho; Kroos, Modric (Kovacic, min. 68), Isco; Bale, Benzema (Lucas Vazquez, min. 81), Cristiano.0.- Alaves: Pacheco; Ely, Laguardia, Feddal, Theo; Manu Garcia, Camarasa (Santos, min. 84), Edgar (Katai, min. 75), Toquero, Ibai (Romero, min. 69), DeyversonGoals: 1-0, min. 31: Benzema; 2-0, min 85: Isco; 3-0, min. 88: NachoReferee: Sanchez Martinez (Murcia). Yellow Cards: Ely (Min. 16) for Alaves, Manu Garcia (Min. 87) for AlavesRed cards: NoneStadium: Santiago BernabeuAttendance: 81,044