Real Madrid went top of La Liga for the time being as they battled hard to beat Alaves 2-1 away from home thanks to goals from Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal.
It was goalless at half time but the game kicked into life when Ramos scored a header and then conceded a penalty in 15 second-half minutes. Carvajal nicked it late on for Zinedine Zidane’s side with his first league goal of the season in the pouring Basque rain.
Gareth Bale started for Los Blancos for the first time since October and hit the post in the first half following smart play from Isco.
Real Madrid looked well on their way to securing the three points in a tough battle as they controlled the majority of the game. Alaves never looked like creating any chances of note and the rain was effecting both sides.
However, the Real captain soon turned from hero to villain as he elbowed former Newcastle striker Joselu on the edge of the box. Another former Premier League striker, Lucas Perez – yes, remember him Arsenal fans? – converted from 12 yards and the game was once again level.
Sergio Ramos scores to put Real Madrid 1-0 up & then gives away a penalty to allow Lucas Perez to equalise for Alavés, classic Ramos day! Carvajal then puts Real Madrid back in front.
— Terry Gibson (@TerryGibson88) November 30, 2019
—52’: Sergio Ramos scores to put Real Madrid 1-0 up against Alaves
—63’: Sergio Ramos concedes a penalty from which Alaves equalise
Just Ramos things 路♂️ pic.twitter.com/ofNRt9RxO9
— B/R Football (@brfootball) November 30, 2019
Lucas Perez is joint second best goalscorer in La Liga this season and Santi Cazorla is joint second in assists. He also created most chances. Tears in my eyes
— Aubazettes (@Aubazettes) November 30, 2019
Lucas Perez’s equaliser for Alaves vs Real Madrid means he is now averaging a goal every other game for Alaves in the league this season. Should have been given more of a chance at Arsenal. #AlavesRealMadrid
— Yousef Teclab (@TeclabYousef) November 30, 2019
Real were staring down the barrel of another La Liga draw which would give the advantage to their main rivals Barcelona in the race for the title. Zidane made changes and took off Bale for young Brazilian Rodrygo looking for a winner.
Rodrygo Goes has done more in 3mins than Bale in 70mins….
— Chukwudi ♌ (@RMadrid_Akin) November 30, 2019
The majority of Real fans were happy to see the introduction of Rodrygo and the end of Bale’s time on the pitch. The young Brazilian looked dangerous and was involved in the Carvajal goal that would secure the win for Zidane and co.
Isco’s header was parried out by Alaves’ goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco and the chance was gobbled up by the Spanish right back.
Dani Carvajal speaking post-match: says he’ll be buying brother-in-law Joselu dinner tonight in Vitoria after Real Madrid beat Alavés…
— Alex Kirkland (@alexkirkland) November 30, 2019
Like the aforementioned Bale, Isco had also found himself slightly alienated by Zidane but started ahead of Eden Hazard down the left side of the attack. He showed that he still has so much class and might be the player Real have missed this season when they’ve lacked goals.
Unlike Bale, he was praised by the Madrid fans in his return to the starting XI and provided two crucial assists to ensure Real got this hard fought win.
World class game from Isco man, for once in a long time he’s fully serious about this game called football.
— A. (@KaizerT8) November 30, 2019
Great work by Isco for that goal. He’s now hit the post twice in the last 2 games. Been exceptional. Deserves a goal too.
— RMadridHome (@RMadridHome_) November 30, 2019
Real battled hard in the last 25 minutes or so as the rain and Alaves’ attack threatened to take away two points. Eder Militao and Sergio Ramos were terrific at the back and it was the sort of performance needed if Real are to finish as champions.
Real Madrid’s next fixture is against Espanyol as they look to maintain this title surge, and there will be keen eyes on the Atlético Madrid-Barcelona clash on Sunday. Alaves remain 13th and travel to Granada next weekend looking to bounce back.