Published: Sun, December 01, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Marcelo delighted as streetwise Real Madrid claim Alaves win

Marcelo delighted as streetwise Real Madrid claim Alaves win

Real Madrid earned a spirited 2-1 win at Alaves on Saturday with a scrappy late goal from defender Dani Carvajal to open up a provisional three-point gap at the top of La Liga's football standings. In a later match, three goals in the second half helped Real Sociedad get an important 4-1 win over Eibar that sees them in fourth in the league.

However, Alaves were awarded a penalty in the 63rd minute after Ramos went from hero to villain by bringing down Joselu inside the box with a trailing elbow that hit the striker's face.

Madrid rose to the challenge and restored its advantage three minutes after the equaliser to go three points clear of Barcelona, which visits Atletico Madrid on Monday (AEDT).

Zidane said afterwards, "We've never lost Isco. We knew that we had to fight and we did it".

But this was a gutsy performance that means they have now won six and drawn two of their last eight matches in all competitions, with the Clasico against Barcelona next month fast approaching.

"Now we have the peace of mind to keep working because things are just beginning, there is a lot of work to do in the league and a lot to do in the season".

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Gareth Bale He was recruited for a first start since early October, while Areola replaced first-choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois by Luka Modric, who also joined the team. Eden Hazard, though, continues to nurse an ankle problem.

Madrid had been fortunate to not concede one other penalty early on as Aleix Vidal slalomed inside Ramos after which Eder Militao, whose dangling leg caught Vidal's foot.

With so few chances it was not surprising that the first goal came from a set-piece as Sergio Ramos was on hand to head home a free-kick from Tony Kroos as the rain began to fall heavily in Vitoria. Perez made no mistake.

Madrid was tasked with responding and Carvajal delivered the decisive goal in quick fashion, prodding home the victor at point-blank range after Pacheco blocked an Isco header on the line.

Perez almost drove in a late equaliser however Marcelo made a diving block and Ximo Navarro's header needed to be clawed away by Areola as Madrid held on.

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