Real Madrid put their pre-season disappointment behind them, as they comfortably swept aside Celta Vigo 3-1 in their opening fixture of the 2019/20 La Liga season.
Karim Benzema opened the scoring, before Toni Kroos scored with a stunning long-range strike and Lucas Vazquez put the icing on the cake for Los Blancos. It was just the start Zinedine Zidane would have wanted from his side.
Real Madrid watched Barcelona fall to a shock defeat against Athletic Club, and knew they had the chance to put in a strong performance and lay down a marker for the rest of the season.
Before a ball had even been kicked, football fans from around the world were sent into utter disbelief when the team-sheets were released. Gareth Bale, a man who was seemingly disowned by his manager, was selected to start the game.
Bale is back in the starting XI? Zidane doesn’t really know what he’s doing, does he? What are you telling the players that have been committed? #RMLiga
— Sipho Kubheka (@SiphoKubheka1) August 17, 2019
Meanwhile, some fans were still reminiscing about a certain former star.
However, the football eventually got underway, and the match started at a frantic pace. It took Los Blancos just 11 minutes to break the deadlock, with Benzema firing home from close range. But, the goal was all about one man – that’s right, Gareth Bale. His pace, trickery and skill took him past a number of players, before finding Benzema free.
The game settled down after the goal, with neither side posing a real threat. However, Celta Vigo began to find their way into the game as the half wore on, and nearly found an equaliser but were denied by a brilliant piece of defending by Raphael Varane. Real then went straight down the other end and almost found a second through Luka Modric.
In the final minute of the half, Alvaro Odriozola was robbed as he took an age to make up his mind. Unfortunately for Celta, Iago Aspas was a fraction offside when the ball came to him, and the goal was ruled out. But that didn’t stop people from voicing their opinions.
Odriozola got so lucky there. Bale and Varane are real positives of the half. Need more goals as you can never trust this defence. #CeltaRealMadrid #LaLiga
— GuNjAn (@ViniciusJr_Era) August 17, 2019
The away side had Luka Modric sent off early in the second half for a late tackle. He pled his innocence but ultimately, the referee’s decision was made.
⚪️ #CeltaRealMadrid – Extremely harsh decision to show Luka Modric a red card. However, it could have ended in a possibly season-ending injury for Celta Vigo’s player. Harsh but fair. Interesting to see how Zidane will fill the hole in the center. Vázquez for Vinicius? #LaLiga
— David Paniashvili (@fanballr) August 17, 2019
Fans were very quick to forget the red card however, as a Toni Kroos screamer put Real 2-0 up. From 25-30 yards,
Real Madrid dictated the game from then – despite having lost a man – and rounded off the performance with a neat goal, finished off by Lucas Vasquez.
Oh Yeah, Real Madrid is comfortable with 10 men also
3rd goal for Real Madrid by Lucas Vazquez. Stating the season with a win and performance as expected.#RMAvsCEL#LaLiga
— Ameet (@tiwari_amit09) August 17, 2019
Unfortunately for Zidane, Thibaut Courtois was unable to keep a clean sheet, as Vigo struck in the final minute. However, it was a strong showing from a team that was without a number of new signings, including mega-money star Eden Hazard.
Real Madrid will be hoping to maintain this form, as they go in search of reclaiming the title from rivals Barcelona. They next play host to