Real Madrid made it back-to-back wins from their opening two La Liga fixtures as Los Blancos sealed a comfortable 4-1 victory over Celta Vigo at Balaidos to extend their unbeaten run over the Galician side to seventeen matches.
Despite the home side being buoyed by a loud partisan crowd, Madrid took the lead in the 13th minute courtesy of a Karim Benzema penalty after Renato Tapia handled the ball in the area.
Celta then had a spot-kick of their own just 10 minutes later for yet another handball, as Goncalo Paciencia’s header came back off the hand of Eder Militao in the box. Iago Aspas powerfully struck home the penalty to get his side back on level terms.
Then, a moment of magic from Luka Modric proved to be the pick of the goals. The midfielder fired in a beautiful curling strike from 20 yards out into the top corner right at the end of the first half.
Los Blancos then had their third in the 56th minute, as Vinicius Jr. rounded Celta goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin after a clinical counter attack.
The rout was complete in the 67th minute, as Federico Valverde slotted in a powerful shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area to well and truly seal the three points for Real Madrid.
Substitute Eden Hazard then had his penalty saved by Marchesin right at the death as Los Blancos could not add to their lead.
TALKING POINT – SCORELINE FLATTERS REAL MADRID
Real Madrid may have scored four goals tonight at Balaidos, but the final result maybe flatters Los Blancos a touch, as Celta were well in the contest in large spells. The home side’s issue this evening was their inablity to take chances.
This is demonstrated by the shot count. Celta amassed just one less than Real Madrid – with 15 – but only two of those efforts were on target. Forward Goncalo Paciencia regularly got into good positions to score, but he could not convert.
As for Real Madrid, the strength of their side proved to be the difference, as they showed just how deadly they are on the counter attack with their two goals in the second half.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – LUKA MODRIC
Real Madrid’s midfield maestro was pulling the strings once again from the centre of the park today for his side. The 36-year-old certainly was not showing his age out there, as his ability to cut open defences with a deep through ball was demonstrated beautifully for Los Blancos’ third goal.
His strike for Real’s second of the night will also be talked about, as the technique to strike the ball that well cannot be understated. Modric truly is a once-in-a-generation talent.
In total, the Croatian made three key passes, had a passing accuracy of 96%, and was directly involved in two goal contributions (one goal, one assist).
Celta Vigo: Marchesin 7, Mallo 6, Aidoo 6, Nunez 6, Galan 6, Cervi 7, Tapia 6, Beltran 7, Rodriguez 6, Aspas 7, Paciencia 6. Subs: de la Torre 6, Veiga 6, Perez 6.
Real Madrid: Courtois 6, Mendy 7, Alaba 6, Militao 6, Carvajal 6, Camavinga 7, Tchouameni 8, Modric 9, Vini Jr. 8, Valverde 7, Benzema 7. Subs: Ceballos, Vazquez, Asensio 6, Rudiger, Hazard 5.
14’ – GOAL! (Karim Benzema penalty) – It looks like Tapia handled the ball right by the goalline after a Real Madrid corner, which definitely helped his team clear the ball. The referee gives a penalty to Real Madrid after a VAR check! Cool as you like from Karim Benzema, who strokes his penalty to the goalkeeper’s left into the net!
23’ – GOAL! (Iago Aspas penalty) – Celta have a penalty! It is also for handball! A cross comes into the box, with Paciencia and Militao in a duel for the ball. Paciencia heads it and it comes back off the hand of the Brazilian. The referee points to the spot immediately! Iago Aspas dispatches his penalty brilliantly into the bottom-right corner with power and the game is all square.
42’ – GOAL! (Luka Modric) – Luka Modric, that is sensational! The midfielder picks the ball up on the left-side of central midfield, before driving forward with the ball towards the penalty area. The Croatian then cuts inside and smacks a powerful curling shot into the top corner from the edge of the box!
56’ – GOAL! (Vinicius Jr.) – Vini Jr. gets in on the act, to the annoyance of the home crowd! They think they should have another penalty as the ball hit Eder Militao’s arm in the area! Moments after that, the visitors break, and Vinicius is 1 v 1 with Marchesin after a sublime through ball from central midfield by Modric. He takes an extra touch to take the ball around the keeper that is slightly too much, but he recovers and puts the ball into the net.
67’ – GOAL! – (Federico Valverde) – There is another clinical counter attack that is executed with precision! Celta have the ball in the Madrid penalty area, but Paciencia cannot get his shot away! The home side lose the ball, and Madrid break at breakneck speed. Vini Jr. bursts down the left, before cutting it back for Benzema in the box. The forward leaves it for Valverde to hit behind him, and the Uruguayan tucks it into the bottom-left corner from the edge of the area!