Kroos winner saves Ronaldo-less Real

Celta were without both their top scorers from last season

Afp August 27, 2016
Real Madrid's German midfielder Toni Kroos celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF vs RC Celta de Vigo at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on August 27, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

MADRID: Real Madrid shrugged off the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo to extend their perfect start to the season and a La Liga win streak to 14 games with a 2-1 defeat of Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Alvaro Morata looked to have Real on their way to another three points when he eventually broke Celta's resistence by smashing home on the hour mark.

Fabian Orellana curled home a spectacular equaliser 24 minutes from time, but Toni Kroos's sublime low strike in off the inside of the post secured all three points for the hosts 10 minutes from time.

In the absence of Ronaldo, Gareth Bale was expected to lead Real to another comfortable win after continuing his sensational form with Wales at Euro 2016 with two goals in a 3-0 victory at Real Sociedad last weekend.

Ronaldo crowned best player in Europe

However, it was another former Tottenham Hotspur star in Luka Modric who shone in a tight first half with two long-range efforts that forced Sergio Alvarez into fine saves, while a third effort from the Croatian came back off the bar.

Celta were without both their top scorers from last season with Iago Aspas left on the bench and Nolito having departed for Manchester City.

Theo Bongonda was a constant threat for the visitors, but his fine wing play went unrewarded as former City and Celtic striker John Guideitti failed to get on a series of dangerous crosses to start the second half.

Bale came to life after the break when Alvarez got a fingertip to send his viciously dipping free-kick over the bar.

Morata was handed his second home debut after returning from a two-year spell at Juventus with Karim Benzema also sidelined.

And he took full advantage by firing home the rebound after Alvarez had denied Marco Asensio.

Barcelona complete signing of Cillessen

Real's joy was short-lived, however, as Orellana was given loads of room at the edge of the area to fire home a fine equaliser six minutes later.

However, Kroos was Real's hero as the German brilliantly measured a side-footed effort in from 25 yards to the relief of the Bernabeu.

Earlier, Valencia's disastrous start to the campaign continued as they lost 1-0 at Basque minnows Eibar to follow-up a 4-2 thrashing at home by Las Palmas.

Pedro Leon scored the only goal of the game with Valencia also missing captain Paco Alcacer ahead of his expected move to Barcelona.

Atletico Madrid are in action later on Saturday when they visit newly promoted Leganes in a Madrid derby.

Barcelona travel to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

Most Read