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Real Madrid defeat Alaves in La Liga as Dani Ceballos scores a brace

Real Madrid rode on Dani Ceballos’s brace to defeat Alaves 2-0 in La Liga. The win comes three days after Madrid lost at home to Real Betis 1-0

football Updated: Sep 23, 2017 22:31 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press
Associated Press, Vitoria
Real Madrid CF,Alaves,La Liga
Real Madrid's Dani Ceballos celebrates his second goal after scoring against Alaves during a La Liga match.(AP)

Dani Ceballos scored twice in his first start for Real Madrid and helped it earn a much-needed 2-1 win at Alaves in the Spanish league on Saturday.

The win came three days after Madrid lost at home to Real Betis 1-0. This was only Madrid’s third win in six rounds.

Ceballos struck in the 10th minute and restored the defending champions’ advantage two minutes before halftime.

READ | Karim Benzema extends Real Madrid C.F. contract to 2021

The winless Alaves almost leveled late when substitute Alfonso Pedraza twice hit the woodwork.

Ceballos received a pass from Marco Asensio, fought through a tackle, and shot just inside the post for the opener.

Manu Garcia responded by ending Alaves’ long scoring drought. His powerful header from a cross by Munir El Haddadi was the Basque Country club’s first goal of the season.

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But Ceballos put Madrid back in charge when he fired in a ball that goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco spilled when he collided with a teammate while defending a cross.

Cristiano Ronaldo hit the goal-frame twice in the second half as the Madrid forward seeks his first goal in the league after he was suspended for the first four rounds for pushing a referee.

With Toni Kroos injured, Ceballos took the place of regular starter Luka Modric, who Zinedine Zidane rested ahead of the trip to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday.

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Ceballos caught Madrid’s eye in the offseason after he was named the best player at the Under-21 European Championship, where he helped Spain reach the final before losing to Germany 1-0.

Madrid reportedly paid Betis 16.5 million euros ($19.7 million) for the up-and-coming midfielder.

Madrid was also without the injured Karim Benzema and Marcelo, while Gareth Bale was left on the bench.

Alaves remained in the relegation zone after a sixth loss in as many games.

First Published: Sep 23, 2017 22:30 IST