FULL-TIME: REAL MADRID 2-0 ALAVES
Zinedine Zidane's men march on towards the title with an eighth consecutive victory despite missing captain Sergio Ramos, Marcelo and Dani Carvajal in the defence. The front three of Marco Asensio, Karim Benzema and Rodrygo have been rampant through out the game as they set the tone for the match by testing goalkeeper Robert Jimenez on multiple ocassions. Real seemed to struggle on the right side of the defence in the first half but recovered well to shut out Alaves in the second period which remains perilously close to the relegation zone in 17th. Los Blancos, on the other hand, need five points from the remaining three league games to seal the title.
90+5' Vinicius Jr gets the ball from Isco and tries to go for the far post but the flag was up.
90+3' Brahim Diaz comes on for Casemiro as the final substitution for Real Madrid. Isco dances past two defenders and pulls the trigger but is flagged off side.
90' Courtois makes a comfortable save after Rodriguez sends a shot fizzing past Militao and Varane.
88' Sainz gets to the byline on the right and tries to find Rodriguez in the centre, but Militao positions himself perfectly to hack it clear. Benzema seems to have some trouble with his hamstring as he is seen explaining it to one of the medical staff.
86' Real wins a free kick on the right as Kroos whips a good ball. Laguardia manages to stay clear off Militao head the ball clear.
84' A clumsy foul by Mahmoud on Kroos sends him into the referee's book. Mendy barges into the box from the free kick as he cuts it back for Isco, who curls a strike at the far post. Roberto does well to punch the ball away to safety.
82' Zidane finally brings on Eden Hazard, who missed the past two games with an ankle injury, for Benzema and sends in Isco to replace Rodrygo.
79' The players break for drinks. Alaves is unable to bring out the ball from its own half. Rodriguez brings down Casemiro with a tackle from behind as the referee checks VAR for the severity of the foul and lets the forward go with a warning.
76' Kroos steals the ball in the centre and runs into box. The German passes it to Vinicius Jr who plays it to Rodrygo who takes a shot at the near post. Jimenez puts in a good block to avert the danger. Kroos' resultant corner kick does not reach Militao.
74' Substitute Borja Sainz dance past Casemiro and draws a block from Varane. Camarasa's resultant corner kick is too wide and Real takes back the possesion.
72' Kroos and Vinicius Jr exchange passes on the left side but Laguardia breaks the move with a timely interception.
70' Jose Rodriguez and Broja Sainz come on for Alaves to replace Joselu and Edgar Mendez. Zidane makes a double change as he sends in Fede Valverde and Vinicius Jr for Luka Modric and Asensio.
68' Modric receives the ball on the edge of the box and drills a low shot through the crowded defence forcing Roberto into a save. A third goal looks inevitable for the host.
66' The Madrid front three are running riot. Asensio and Benzema get through the centre and put Rodrygo through to the goal but Laguardia blocks the attempt.
63' MISS! Its end-to-end stuff at Estadio Alfredo di Stefano. Rodrygo brilliantly keeps Modric's weighted pass in play and lays it off for Benzema who crosses it to Vazquez. The shot is wasted as the Spaniard goes for a volleyed finish but the shot comes off his shin.
61' SAVE! Superb save by Courtois! Joselu runs behind the Madrid defence and gets into a one-on-one position with the keeper. He unleashes a venomous strike at the far post but the Belgian custodian makes a vital save to keep it out.
59' SAVE! Benzema plays Rodrygo into the box who angles a powerful shot at the near post forcing Roberto into a big save. Immense pressure from Real Madrid.
57' CLOSE! Asensio cuts in from the left and squares the ball for Benzema who unleashes a stinging drive which is saved by Roberto.
54' Alaves makes a double substitution as Lucas Fejsa and Lucas Perez make way for Abdal Mahmoud and Luis Rioja.
50' GOAL! Benzema escapes the off-side trap to receives Modric's pass and barges into the box and unselfishly lays if off for Asensio at the far end who finishes with a simple tap-in. The referee waits to check the offside call and awards the goal to Real.
48' Rodrygo, Modric and Benzema play quick passes on the left but lose possession to Martin. Mendy takes forward the ball but is brought down by Camarosa.
46' We are off for the second half! Benzema is back on the pitch after receiving a knock at the stroke of half time but its the referee Jesus Manzano who goes off the pitch after struggling with an ankle problem. Alberoa Rojas takes the officiating duties on the pitch.
HALF-TIME: REAL MADRID 1-0 ALAVES
45+5' Benzema plays one-two with Rodrygo and gets a shot away which is easy for Roberto to save. The Frenchman seems to be in pain as he lies down flat on the pitch. The referee blows his whistle to bring an end to the first half.
45+3' Kroos' free kick reaches Militao at the far post but is unable to get a shot on the goal. Rodrygo tries to wriggle away through a group of blue shirts but the Mendez hacks the ball away to safety.
45+1' Vazquez cuts in to the box with Kroos for company as Edgar Mendez blocks the Spaniard's path. Real reworks the ball through Modric who is brought down by Mendez in a dangerous position.
43' Alaves tries to exploit Real's weakness down the left as Lucas Perez forces Vazquez and Militao to cough up possession, but gets dispossessed by Kroos and clears it away.
41' Rodrygo goes down inside the box after running into Edgar Mendez inside the box but the referee tells the host to play on.
38' Real is clearly dominating the possession and chances but has been vulnerable against the pace of Joselu and Burke who have managed to drag the centre-backs wide. Vazquez, naturally a wide attacker, has been unable to compensate for Carvajal's absence.
35' CLOSE! What a brilliant run that was from Burke. The winger charges through the middle dragging Militao wide. He then takes out Vazquez and Militao with a simple touch and cuts it back for Joselu who is unable to get a boot to it.
32' The referee is back on the pitch and Real go back to attacking. Modric is fouled by Joselu as the host wins a free kick. Casemiro's free kick reaches Benzema at the far post but the Frenchman is unable to direct it towards the goal.
28' Rodrygo combines with Benzema on the left side but is stopped by substitute Martin Aguirregabiria. The referee Jesus Manzano is on the sidelines to get some treatment to his ankle as the players get another drinks break.
26' SAVE! Alaves break free on the left as Oliver Burke cuts in and drills a low shot at the bottom far corner but Courtois does superbly to palm the shot away.
24' The substitution from Alaves allows the players to get a drinks break. Kroos sprays the ball wide to Asensio who pulls the trigger from outside the box but his shot comes off a crowded Alaves box.
21' Alaves wins a free kick near the centre after Militao fouls Joselu. Lucas Perez whips in a dangerous ball into the box which is headed powerfully by Ely but his shot misses the goal post. Tmo Navarro is down on the pitch with a foot problem as Juan Muniz is forced to make a defensive change.
17' CLOSE! Mendy is relishing his overlapping runs. The left back almost got Ely score an own goal only to be denied by Roberto's outstretched left leg.
15' Militao's foul gives away a free kick in dangerous positiion. Lucas' delivery reaches Joselu's head but the striker skies it over the bar as Real regains control again.
13' Real Madrid turns on the screw as Benzeme races away on the left flank and plays it to Mendy. Kroos rattles the crossbar after receiving a cut back from Mendy on the edge of the box.
11' GOAL REAL MADRID! Karim Benzema stands over the spot kick and calmly slots it home and for the third time in as many games, Real takes a lead through a penalty.
10' PENALTY! Timo Navarro brings down Mendy just inside the area as the referee checks with VAR to confirm if its a spot kick.
8' Perez is through towards the goal but Militao makes a timely clearance as Alaves wins the first corner of the game. Los Blancos defence clears the danger but they are clearly missing skipper Sergio Ramos who is suspended for the tie alongside right-back Dani Carvajal.
6' Alaves has closed the ranks at the back as Kroos plays Benzema into the space on left. However, the striker is unable win his battle with Timo Navarro.
2' CLOSE! A superb backhell from Casemiro allows Mendy to flash a dangerous cross the goalmouth which Benzema is unable to reach. Alaves counters through the left flank as Joselu rattles the crossbar with a towering header. Courtois is called into action to keep out an attempt from Lucas away. Nervous moments for the host.
1' Off we go! Real Madrid kick off the proceedings at Estadio Alfredo di Stefano.
- Real Madrid has not lost to Alaves since October 2018 and has won 14 of the 17 matches they played against each other.
- The debate around the Video Review System (VAR) has heated up following Madrid's penalty against Bilbao with Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu its main critic. Zinedine Zidane has demanded respect for his side which has managed to for being able to see out tough matches. We'll need to wait and see if today's game adds more to that discussion.
- The form of both sides are chalk and cheese coming into the fixture. Alaves, currently 17th, has lost five games in a row and has failed to score in four of them. Real Madrid, on the other hand, has managed to grind out six consecutive victories including two back-to-back 1-0 wins against Getafe and Athletic Bilbao. Both the goals came from penalties scored by captain Sergio Ramos.
Line-ups are out:
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Courtois; Vazquez, Militao, Varane, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Benzema, Rodrygo, Asensio
Alaves (4-4-2): Roberto; Laguardia, Adrian Marin, Ely, Navarro; Fejsa, Camarasa, Burke, Edgar; Joselu, Lucas
- Form Guide: Real Madrid - WWWWW, Alaves - LLLLL
- What's at stake: With three more games to go in the season, Real Madrid will look to maintain its winning streak to move closer to a second league title under Zinedine Zidane. Alaves is three points away from the relegation zone, but desperately needs points to ensure its survival in the top division. Even a draw would help Juan Muniz's men to move a place above while a win would take them to 15th in the table.
The La Liga official page will live stream Real Madrid vs Alaves match from 1:30 am (IST) onwards on Saturday.
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