NEWS
Sunday November 11 2018
Karim Benzema bags brace as Real Madrid march on

Santiago Solari officially signed off as Real Madrid caretaker with a 4-2 win at Celta Vigo in La Liga on Sunday.

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Karim Benzema bagged his second brace in as many matches and Sergio Ramos scored another Panenka penalty to leave Madrid just four points behind leaders Barcelona, although three more first-teamers went off with potential injuries.

Luka Modric replaced Dani Ceballos in Los Blancos' midfield as Solari named an otherwise-unchanged XI for the trip to Balaidos, with Marcelo, Mariano Diaz and Jesus Vallejo still on the treatment table.

Solari had led Madrid to three straight victories since replacing Julen Lopetegui, although Spanish rules stated interim Coaches could only oversee four games before a permanent appointment was made. 

Celta, meanwhile, had won just one of their last nine games to pile the pressure on Coach Antonio Mohamed but had two of La Liga's top goalscorers in Iago Aspas and Maxi Gomez.

Madrid lost Casemiro and Sergio Reguilon to first-half injuries, Nacho Fernandez appearing to follow suit after the break, while Okay Yokuslu’s header beat Courtois but bounced off the base of the Belgian’s left-hand post.

Nonetheless, Benzema latched on to Luka Madrid's visionary through ball over the top and flicked a finish past Sergio Alvarez to put Madrid ahead.

The striker kept plugging away as he unleashed a piledriver on to Sergio Alvarez’s crossbar, before nutmegging his marker and doing same to the goalkeeper after Celta carelessly lost the ball near their own box.

Iago Aspas forced two stops from Thibaut Courtois when he threw himself on to a cross and fizzed a daisy-cutter on target, yet it was Hugo Mallo’s first-time volley that pulled a goal back for the hosts.

However, Alvaro Odriozola’s burst of pace into the Galicians’ box suddenly allowed him to latch onto a loose ball first - and Ramos to then chip Sergio from the spot as the right-back was felled.

Dani Ceballos then blasted an unstoppable drive past Sergio in stoppage time, before Spain new boy Brais Mendez responded with a strike of his own.

Celta Vigo 2-4 Real Madrid

Mallo 61, Brais 90, Cabral sent off 87 (CV) Benzema 23, Cabral og 56, Ramos pen 83, Ceballos 90 (RM)

Celta Vigo: Sergio; Mallo, Roncaglia, Cabral, Junca; Beltran (Emre Mor 63), Okay, Brais; Boufal (Hjulsager 63), Maxi, Aspas

Real Madrid: Courtois; Odriozola, Nacho (Asensio 71), Ramos, Reguilon (Javi Sanchez 45); Modric, Casemiro (Ceballos 19), Kroos; Vazquez, Benzema, Bale

Referee: Undiano Mallenco

Football Italia website