Real Madrid travelled to Galicia this afternoon in the hope of building upon the positive momentum they’ve generated recently. Los Blancos faced Celta Vigo, who had the carrot of climbing as high as eighth in the league table if they could secure victory.
Madrid came into the game on the high of having comprehensively dismantled the much-fancied Atalanta in the last 16 of the Champions League, setting up a quarter-final tie with Liverpool, who they faced in the 2018 final. Pulling off an away win would see them leap-frog Barcelona and apply real pressure to faltering league leaders Atletico Madrid.
Karim Benzema skippered Madrid in the absence of Sergio Ramos. The Frenchman is in serious form, scoring a late double last weekend against Elche at Valdebebas to secure Madrid’s third victory in their last five. Both Barcelona and Atletico play tomorrow evening, so Zinedine Zidane’s men had a real chance to put pressure on their two title rivals.
They certainly started well, pinning their hosts back and opening the scoring in the 20th minute through Benzema, who scored in his sixth consecutive game to fire his team into a potentially pivotal lead. He doubled it less than ten minutes later, seizing on a defensive error and making Celta pay, but the visitors didn’t simply ride off into the sunset.
Celta pulled one back five minutes before half-time, Santi Mina steering home a header after Denis Suarez teed him up with a floated set-piece. It was to ultimately be in vain, however, with Madrid bouncing back to put the icing on the cake in the 94th minute, right at the death. Benzema was pivotal again, setting up Marco Asensio to score after coming on for Toni Kroos.