Zinedine Zidane Responds to Real Madrid Critics Ahead of Key La Liga Clash With Las Palmas

Real Madrid must win their upcoming La Liga match against Las Palmas in order to keep pace with first of the league Barcelona, who currently have an eight-point lead, and hope for an eventual remuntada. 

But securing three points does not seem as easy for Zinedine Zidane, whose Los Blancos have suffered two consecutive defeats in less than a week. 

Real Madrid were, in fact, caught by surprise last weekend when Girona scored their winning goal in the second half of the La Liga game, costing them to lose more points. Even more painful was being beaten by Tottenham at Wembley in the fourth Champions League group stage match. 

Criticism towards Zidane and his men quickly followed. However, the French manager, who last year led the team to win the Champions League and La Liga, promptly responded (via ​Goal): “These are things that I cannot avoid. I am not the best coach in the world, maybe, this season, I accept it.

“But neither am I the worst in the world right now. Whether it’s euphoria or if things go badly, I am always in the middle. It also happened when I was playing,” he added. 

“What my players and I are thinking at the moment is that we are the same people, we are not happy with the two games we lost but it does not change what we are trying to achieve.”

The team’s unfortunate moment is also due to the absence of some key first-team players who have been out injured for the past few games but will return soon: “We are happy now, both have come back, we’re still missing [Mateo] Kovacic but he will return next week.

“Carvajal trained normally and Bale too, he came through his second training session and we are working normally. They will not be called up (against Las Palmas), we need to go easy with Dani. Bale too, he won’t play with his national team.

“Now he has completed two sessions and we want him to stay with us so he returns as soon as possible – but with Madrid.” 

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Real Madrid vs Las Palmas Match Preview: Classic Encounters, Key Battles, Team News & Predictions

​Real Madrid host La Liga strugglers Las Palmas on Sunday evening at the Santiago Bernabeu as the home side seek to recover after disappointing displays against Spurs and Girona in the last week. 

Zinedine Zidane’s men are looking to bounce back after suffering two defeats in one week. After positive results in league and cup competitions in October, Real’s last few games have undone their good early work as they drop to second in their Champions League Group and are now third in La Liga, eight points behind leaders Barcelona.

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Injury has not helped Zidane, with the loss of defensive powerhouse Raphaël Varane last week adding to the growing list. With a crunch match against Atheltico Madrid following the game at the weekend, and being level on points with their Madrid rivals, a win is crucial for Los Blancos if they are to retain their La Liga crown. 

As for the visitors, Las Palmas, they have had a somewhat up and down week, as they won their first game since mid-September, even if it was a cup game against Deportivo. Strangely enough, after defeating Deportivo in the cup, they fell to a 3-1 home defeat against the same opposition in the league at the weekend. 

Las Palmas

Despite their loss at home, the win away in the cup, with an impressive final score of 4-1, will give some hope that they can cause an upset at the Santiago Bernabeu and condemn Real to another defeat. 

If results against the Madrid giants last season are anything to go off we should be in for a cracker, as both games ended in a scored draw, with Las Palmas drawing 3-3 at the Bernabeu in March.

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Classic Encounters

These two sides have only met 8 times in La Liga, with the Madrid side coming out on top more times then out, but this does not suggest in anyway that games in recent times have been easy for the La Liga champions. 

A memorable match took place in March of last season as Real Madrid drew 3-3 at home against Las Palmas. In an enthralling game with goals and a red card, it would come as no surprise to know that Real took the lead first, when Isco put the home side ahead after just eight minutes. However, the game then turned on its head as Dominguez leveled for the visitors to go into the half-time break all square.

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The game sprang into life in the second half, as Gareth Bale was sent off two minutes after the restart for two bookable offences. Viera then gave the underdogs the lead with a penalty, and to add to the shock of the Real fans three minutes later the side from Grand Canaria went 3-1 ahead through Kevin Prince Boateng. 

Real through the kitchen sink at Las Palmas and eventually their efforts were rewarded as their talisman Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up to the plate with two goals in the final five minutes to earn his side a draw.

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A pulsating match which proved vital for Real, as they went on to be crowned champions, while Las Palmas enjoyed an eleventh placed finish in a very successful season for the then newly promoted side. 


Key Battles

Achraf vs Remy

With Dani Carvajal out for the foreseeable future, it has been a big step up for young Achraf Hakimi. The highly rated 18-year-old is said to be a future star for Los Blancos and due to injury must now show his talent. 

On the opposite side, Loic Remy, fresh from scoring against Deportivo, will be hoping to add to his account at the weekend as he comes up against an inexperienced right back. This duel will be interesting to watch with experience playing a part as a veteran comes up against a youngster in a key area of the pitch. 

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Modric vs Viera

For the majority of last season, Real won their games by controlling the midfield with the brilliant Luka Modric at the heart of it. If Real are to succeed at the weekend Modric will need to be on top form and run the show as his side seek to close the gap between themselves and Barcelona. 

As for Viera, he featured heavily in the reverse fixture and could prove to be the decisive again this season. For the game as a whole, if Madrid control the midfield then they have an excellent chance of winning, as for Las Palmas they need to disrupt any rhythm that their opponents have in order to be in with a chance of winning the game. 


Team News

Real Madrid

Without Varane, Gareth Bale, Mateo Kovacic, Dani Carvajal and Keylor Navas, Zidane is likely to pick the same squad that faced Tottenham in the Champions League on Wednesday. Bale has set his return for the crunch match against Atletico Madrid in two weeks, with Kovacic likely to be back in action for that game as well. 

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Carvajal is back in training following his heart operation, but will not be back for quite some time, as Real take every precaution necessary to ensure the right back will recover properly. 

Las Palmas

Playmaker Ousmane Tannane remains out until December, after suffering a groin problem against Villarreal, along with Croatian Alen Halilovic who is expected to return in three to four weeks. Former Newcastle man Loic Remy will be pushing for a start after netting against Deportivo in the cup. 


Predicted Line Ups

Real Madrid (4-3-1-2): Casilla/ Achraf, Nacho, Ramos, Marcelo/ Modric, Kroos/ Isco/ Ronaldo/ Benzema.

Las Palmas (4-3-3): Lizoain/ Macedo, Lemos, Bigas, Castellano/ Viera, Aquilani, Gomez/ Remy, Callero, Vitolo.


Prediction

Real Madrid v Eibar - La Liga

Despite Real’s poor form at the moment and Las Palmas struggling in the league, it is difficult to see past a home win. With that being said, this match won’t be as easy as many would think for Real, with their defence leaking goals at the moment, an open game with a lot of goals is on the cards.

Predicted Score: Real Madrid 3-2 Las Palmas. 

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7 Potential January Alternatives to Real Madrid Goalkeeper Keylor Navas

It is no secret that Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane and his puppet master Florentino Perez do not see goalkeeper Keylor Navas in their future plans at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. 

For longer than Sunderland’s current winless home record, Los Blancos have been attempting to coax a reliable custodian to the club in the hope of finally being able to bolster someone in between the sticks who does not possess a similar level of occasional howler to that of David James. 

It seems every transfer window has its sureties, with Arsene Wenger stating he had the chance to sign a now world-class player when he was still in nappies, Daniel Levy clutching hold of his purse strings tighter than the grip of an Eagle and, of course, the Spanish capital side being linked with a new shot stopper. 

So with January fast approaching, let’s take a look at seven goalkeepers Real could capture to finally replace their unwanted Navas…

1. Gianluigi Donnarumma

AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was of particular interest to Real Madrid during the summer, with former Rossoneri club president Silvio Berlusconi stating Los Blancos had offered the teenage sensation a contract worth £87m to swap San Siro for the Santiago Bernabeu in June.

However, Real’s efforts came to no avail, and instead the four-times capped Italy international opted to stay with Milan and secure a new five-year deal with a reported £88m release clause included. 

But that figure only has to be paid if the Serie A club reach the Champions League, something, after Vincenzo Montella’s side’s start, that seems unlikely. 

This means Donnarumma would be free to talk to other clubs if a £44m offer was tabled, surely opening the door for Madrid once again in their pursuit of a replacement to Navas. 

2. David de Gea

This transfer saga seems to have lasted nearly as long as the third Lord of the Rings film, with David de Gea being linked with a move to Madrid since the days of Rafa Benitez. Without a doubt the Spaniard possesses some of the finest goalkeeping talent in the world, and it comes as little surprise that a club to match are keen to capture the 26-year-old. 

In 10 appearances so far this campaign for Manchester United the former Atletico Madrid youth academy graduate has kept eight clean sheets, conceding on average 0.4 goals per game. 

Adding that to an area of the game Navas falls down in of a 100% claim success ratio, it would appearer De Gea could be the best possible option to end Zidane’s shot stopping worries. 

3. Hugo Lloris

Hugo Lloris has proven to the Real managerial set up already this season that he is more than capable of earning his side vital points, with his save against Karim Benzema inside the Santiago Bernabeu just one moment of significance in his Tottenham career. 

The Frenchman’s heroics in both legs against the 12-time Champions League winners may well have caught the eye of the 45-year-old manager and Perez, and even though the Spurs custodian has reached the ripe old age of 30, he still has many blockbuster saves in him yet. 

4. Jan Oblak

When discussing the best goalkeepers in La Liga, Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Atleti’s Jan Oblak are two that instantly spring to mind. 

However, whereas transfer dealings nowadays between the Catalonian-based Barca and the Spanish capital look about as likely as Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un separating their differences over a pint of Foster’s, things are not so hostile between the two Madrid clubs. 

The “non-aggression pact” that is said to stop either club trading with one another unless specific permission is granted is something of a pipe dream, and, as they have shown in the past, if Real want someone badly enough, they usually get them. 

5. Jiri Pavlenka

The mention of Werder Bremen’s Jiri Pavlenka may shock many in this list considering where the River Islanders currently find themselves in the Bundesliga, however looking a bit closer you can see that the current second from bottom side owe a lot of their frustrations to the other end of the pitch. 

The 25-year-old has helped his side concede just 12 goals so far this term, only one more than Borussia Dortmund and the same amount as RB Leipzig, however the Green and Whites have netted on just three occasions, meaning if the Czech Republic international concedes it’s usually curtains. 

Another factor in a potential move from Real on the 6’5 custodian is that both the transfer fee, considering Bremen are currently fighting for their top-flight lives, and the Czech’s wages will likely be relatively low in comparison to others.  

6. Mile Svilar

Although Benfica’s Mile Svilar has not done himself any favours with a number of naive goalkeeping decisions of late, the 18-year-old still has a long career ahead of him. 

There is no denying the youngest Champions League custodian in history is extremely talented, and the Belgian’s profile would certainly fit that of Real’s recent youth recruitment drive. 

7. Alisson Becker

Similarly to the two previous, Roma’s Alisson Becker is another name that may surprise some in appearing in this list, however the Brazilian’s current goalkeeping record is almost second to none alongside Europe’s elite. 

The Yellow and Reds current find themselves fifth in an extremely competitive Serie A, with a large portion of credit owed to the 25-year-old. 

Eusebio Di Francesco’s side currently boast the best defence in the league, and by some way, with the Italian powerhouse only conceding five goals in their opening 10 games. 

Becker himself has kept seven clean sheets in that time, an impressive feat baring in mind he has been forced into over five saves per game on average and has conceded only 0.5 goals per game in arguably one of the most attacking-focused leagues in Europe this year. 

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Reports Claim Bayern München Star James Rodríguez Blames Zinedine Zidane for Real Madrid’s Poor Form

​James Rodríguez of Bayern München has pointed the finger at one person in particular for Real Madrid’s poor start to the season. 

Real Madrid sit third in La Liga, eight points off of leaders Barcelona, and succumbed to a defeat at the hands of Spurs on Wednesday night in the Champions League. The Colombian was loaned out to the German champions in the summer after falling down the pecking order at the Bernabeu.

Rodriguez in action against Celtic

Rodríguez started just thirteen league games last season, coming off the bench in nine, but despite getting eight goals and six assists, Zinedine Zidane chose to largely neglect the former Porto star.

And according to Spanish outlet ​Diario Gol, James believes that the Real Madrid manager is to blame for his side’s struggles this season. Despite the Frenchman winning back-to-back European Cups, Rodríguez believes the club should have kept Carlo Ancelotti on.

Rodríguez struggled in his new spell with Bayern under Ancelotti, but has showed why he was so highly rated years ago since Jupp Heynckes returned from retirement. 

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The 26-year-old has made five Bundesliga appearances – scoring two and assisting one – but admits to having still not adjusted to life in Bavaria.

“I try to give my all in every training session, in order to show my qualities in our matches. Obviously, I still need to adapt to my new life in Munich,” the 2014 World Cup star added, “but it’s getting better everyday. I like it here.”

Rodríguez is on a two-year loan at Bayern, whose next match is on Saturday evening against Borussia Dortmund at the Westfalenstadion.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Criticises Club’s Transfer Policy in ‘Exposed’ WhatsApp Messages

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has exchanged WhatsApp messages with his former teammate Pepe as the club find themselves in crisis. 

Off the back of a poor loss to Girona in La Liga and a humiliation at the hands of Spurs in mid-week, doubts have begun to creep in at Real Madrid – for a side that won the double last season and have won three of the last four Champions Leagues. 

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According to reports by Spanish publication Diario Gol, Ronaldo has slammed club president Florentino Perez in text messages with former teammate Pepe – who ended a ten-year spell with Real in the summer, transferring to Besiktas.

Ronaldo and Pepe both criticised the club’s transfer policy, as Madrid let Pepe, James Rodriguez, Danilo and Alvaro Morata leave in the summer. Zidane’s squad has been trimmed, which means the absences of Raphael Varane, Keylor Navas and Dani Carvajal have exposed Real’s lack of quality in depth. 

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Zidane opted to appoint youth this summer, having seen the success of blooding the up-and-coming Marco Asensio – who has scored four times for Real this season. The average age of Zizou’s signings was just 19, which Ronaldo is sceptical of – as Real need players to perform now, not years down the line in his eyes. 

This has left Ronaldo with fears of a trophyless season with Los Blancos, for the first time since the 2009/10 season where Guardiola’s Barcelona were dominant. Speaking of, Barca extended their lead over Real Madrid to eight points last weekend – as Real sit third in La Liga. 

Speaking after the 3-1 loss to Spurs, Ronaldo said: “We must stick together and not think that it’s such a big disaster. Losing when playing for Real Madrid is harder than with any other team, but we are used to it and I am sure we’ll come out of this run. It’s not nice but we’ll sort it out.”

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Luka Modric Admits Real Madrid Deserved to Lose to Tottenham in Wembley Thriller

Luka Modric has admitted that Real Madrid deserved to be beaten by Tottenham in their Champions League clash on Wednesday night. Holders Madrid slumped to a heavy defeat at Wembley as Spurs ran out comfortable 3-1 winners over Zinedine Zidane’s side.

Dele Alli’s brace and Christian Eriksen’s effort had given Mauricio Pochettino’s side a 3-0 lead before Cristiano Ronaldo snatched a late consolation with ten minutes remaining. 

Tottenham Hotspur v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League

Ronaldo complained about Tottenham’s opening goal after the game, with a clear offside decision not given in the buildup, and insisted the result was ‘not a fair reflection of what happened’. 

Modric disagreed with his Madrid teammate though, telling beIN Sports: “Of course, we are disappointed with our performance and the result tonight. I think Tottenham were a much better team, it’s as simple as that, they deserved to win. We need to see what we need to do to get back to where we were before to play like we can.”

The win for Tottenham puts them three points ahead of Real in Group H, with a trip to Dortmund and hosting APOEL Nicosia still to play before the winter break, with Spurs having already qualified for the next round.

“I can agree with you that we were a bit more open than usual,” Modric continued, “Tottenham knew how to use all this space that we left them, and they scored three goals. Like I said, they deserved to win.”

Real face APOEL away in the next round before hosting Dortmund on Matchday Six. A win in either match or a pair of draws will also secure their qualification.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Eyeing Spurs Midfielder as Next Addition to Real Madrid’s New Galacticos

​Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid side were humbled on Wednesday night in a 3-1 defeat to Tottenham, the north Londoners handing Los Blancos their first Champions League group stage defeat since 2012.

Ronaldo is said to have been impressed by one Spurs player in particular; Danish playmaker, Christian Eriksen. According to notorious Spanish rumourmongers ​Don Balon, Ronaldo has asked Real Madrid president Florentino Perez to sign the Denmark international.

Eriksen scored the third and final goal in Spurs’ resounding victory at Wembley as Mauricio Pochettino’s side – assisted by Borussia Dortmund’s failure to beat APOEL in consecutive games – secured their place in the next round of the competition. 

Dele Alli and Harry Kane again impressed on the night, with Alli bagging the first two goals. Kane returned from a hamstring injury and was on hand to set up Eriksen for his goal.

Madrid are not in danger of failing to qualify from their group though, with Dortmund still five points behind in third place. However, they are in danger of qualifying in second place and could face a draw against one of the top European clubs in the next round.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo seems to believe that Eriksen could fit perfectly into the Madrid’s team. His ability as a creative midfielder could rival those who already fulfil that role for Los Blancos, such as Luka Modric and Isco. 

For now Tottenham go from strength to strength and will be preparing for their next big test – the north London derby against Arsenal in two weeks’ time.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Admits Real Madrid Are Weaker Without Trio of Ex-Teammates & Key Injuries

​Real Madrid travelled to Wembley to play Spurs in a Champions League match that they hoped could turn their current poor form around after a loss to Girona in La Liga last weekend. Instead, they were deservedly beaten 3-1 by an in-control Spurs side and alarm bells are ringing round the Spanish capital. 

However, star forward Cristiano Ronaldo believes there is no crisis at his team despite being three months into the new season and yet to hit full form. Rather, he puts results down to a lack of experience in the side accompanied by injuries to key players, according to reports by Marca.

During his post-match interview, Ronaldo said “People cannot forget the good things that we have done. I do not know what it means to say this is a crisis, people forget the good things we have done very quickly.

We can lose three or four games but there is never a crisis.”

Furthermore, Ronaldo is feeling the difference in the attack without Gareth Bale and Dani Carvajal, who are both out due to injury. The Portuguese forward believes many of Madrid’s important players are either injured or have wrongly moved on. 

 Ronaldo said “The players who arrived this summer have a lot of potential. Pepe, Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez made us stronger, but those in the squad today are younger.

We also need Carvajal and Bale back.

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It is not a worse squad but it has less experience and that is very important. It’s not an excuse, I’m happy and the alarms are not going off.”

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Champions League Roundup: English Clubs Fly High as German Duo Disappoint Once Again

Tottenham secured an historic result against Real Madrid on Wednesday night to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League, beating the reigning European champions 3-1 at Wembley thanks to a brilliant brace from a resurgent Dele Alli. 

Spurs led 1-0 at the half, but a stuttering Real – who lost 2-1 to Girona on Sunday – were ripped apart in the second half. Alli added his second after putting Casemiro on the floor, before Christian Eriksen finished off a lightning counter-attack to wrap the game up. Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed a late consolation, but couldn’t change the result.

For the full story on that incredible 90 minutes at Wembley, Ben Davies’ match report is up ​here. 

Borussia Dortmund‘s recent woes continued at the Westfalenstadion, surrendering a 1-0 lead to APOEL to draw 1-1 with the Cypriot side for the second time in a fortnight. 

Raphael Guerreiro broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark, capitalising on his side’s absolute dominance, but Mickael Pote stabbed home an equaliser early in the second half as the hosts remained winless in the group – now sitting five points behind second placed Real. 

A thrilling game between Napoli and Manchester City at the Stadio San Paolo finished 4-2 to the visitors, but it was the hosts who took the lead early thanks to a stunning team goal finished off by Dries Mertens. 

Headers from both of City’s centre-backs turned the game on its head before Leroy Sane’s foul in the area allowed Jorginho to level from the spot – but the young winger made up for it with a blistering counter-attacking run shortly afterwards; Sergio Aguero picking the ball up to finish past Pepe Reina and become the Citizens’ all-time leading goalscorer in all competitions. 

For more on City’s 4-2 win, finished off by Raheem Sterling, Aarron Bates’ full match report is up ​here. 

Shakhtar continued their impressive form with an 3-1 win over Feyenoord to reach the brink of qualification in Group F’s other game, going six points clear of Napoli with two games to play. The game burst into life early on with three goals in five minutes – the home side roaring back with two goals from Marlos and one from Facundo Ferreyra after Nicolai Joergensen’s opener. 

Liverpool were frustrated throughout a tight first half for the second time in five days, but a delightful flicked goal from Mohamed Salah finally broke Maribor’s resistance four minutes after the break. 

James Milner saw a penalty saved at 1-0, but a slick passing move around the box saw Emre Can fire home the second of the night to secure the points – Daniel Sturridge scoring his first Champions League goal in nearly seven years to round off a 3-0 win. 

For more on that game, Adam Barnish has you covered ​here. 

Sevilla kept things tight behind the Reds with a 2-1 win at home to Spartak thanks to a stunning strike from Ever Banega, leaving just three points between the group’s leading trio with all left to play for. 

The Argentine set up Clement Langlet in the first half for the Spanish side’s opener before firing home a brilliant, swerving strike from the edge of the area on the hour mark to double the lead – Ze Luis’ goal for Spartak providing some late drama. 

In the night’s early game, last season’s semi-finalists Monaco left themselves with a mountain to climb to qualify from Group G – a 1-1 draw against Besiktas meaning that they sit bottom of the group with just two points. Rony Lopes got the opening goal with a delightful curling finish, but Cenk Tosun hit the leveller from the spot after Ricardo Quaresma was fouled in the box.

Porto’s 3-1 win over RB Leipzig kept Besiktas from going through with two games to spare, the Portuguese side leapfrogging the Red Bull-backed side into second place in the group, two points clear of Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men – Danilo Pereira bagging the winner after a lovely chipped finish from Timo Werner cancelled out Hector Herrera’s opener. Maxi Pereira struck in injury time to round out the night. 


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Tottenham 3-1 Real Madrid: Alli Brace Sees Spurs into CL Knockout Stages in Historic Wembley Win

Tottenham stunned the world on Wednesday night as goals from Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen handed Spurs a convincing win over Champions League holders Real Madrid. A late consolation goal from Cristiano Ronaldo did little to disrupt the mood in a historic night in London.

​Both teams headed into the match on the back of a league defeat at the weekend; and having drawn at the Bernabeu in the reverse fixture, each side was eager to get the better of the other – and staple their name to the top of Group H.

The return of Harry Kane gave Spurs a huge confidence boost, as well as Dele Alli’s lifted suspension, allowing the England international to play his first Champions League game of the season.

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On the other hand, Madrid were determined to rectify their wrongdoings at the weekend – following a bitterly disappointing 2-1 defeat to newly promoted La Liga side Girona – aiming to use Spurs’ Wembley troubles to get them back to winning ways.

The opening period of the game started quite lively – half chances arriving for both teams. However, Madrid, a side looking bereft of confidence following their poor start to the season, spent the first half hour looking shaky at the back – something obvious when the home side took the lead on 26 minutes.

A smart diagonal ball from youngster Harry Winks caught the visiting defence off guard. A beautifully connected first time cross from Kieran Trippier fell to the feet of Dele Alli – the 21-year-old becoming the first Tottenham player to ever score against Real Madrid on his return to the Champions League.

Tottenham Hotspur v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League

The first half continued to live up to expectation. While Madrid upped their game following on from the goal, handing Cristiano Ronaldo a few opportunities; few clear cut chances were created and Hugo Lloris was never really tested.

Likewise, Tottenham continued to press forward when given the opportunity, but little was done to worry Kiko Casilla between the sticks, and the sides headed into half time with the away side trailing.

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The second half began exactly as the first ended, with both sides determined to break through the opposing defence.

However, the night went from good to great for Dele Alli and his side when the Englishman doubled Spurs’ lead and earned himself a brace. Receiving the ball in the final third, the attacker ghosted past Casemiro, selling the Brazilian into diving in prematurely before rifling a shot towards goal.

The effort took a deflection off Sergio Ramos’ thigh, leaving Casilla in no man’s land, and handing Spurs a 2-0 lead after 56 minutes.

Not ten minutes later, Spurs all but secured the three points with their third of the night. A swift counter attack started by Alli caught the away side exposed in their bid to fight back into the game.

The midfielder rolled in Harry Kane, dragging Sergio Ramos – the lone defender – out wide; who then played in Christian Eriksen to go one on one with Casilla, and the Dane never looked like missing.

In the space of 20 minutes, Tottenham were out of sight.

Alli had the opportunity to complete his hat-trick in the 78th minute, Trippier’s cross picking out the Englishman completely unmarked in the six yard area; but the 21-year-old couldn’t quite connect with the ball properly – instead knocking it well wide of the goal.

Ronaldo pulled one back for the visitors only moments later. the ball fell to the 32-year-old inside the box – the Portuguese striker drilling his volley into the bottom right corner.

However, his effort was to spark no glorious comeback, and Tottenham ended the match 3-1 victors; becoming the first ever English team to beat Los Blancos in the Champions League group stages – securing their place in the knockout stages of this year’s tournament.

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