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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.

READ | Cristiano Ronaldo brace boosts Real Madrid C.F. in Champions League

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.

READ | La Liga: Cristiano Ronaldo returns as Real Madrid C.F. aim to pressure FC Barcelona

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