Real Madrid in sight of title after beating Alaves

Sports

Real Madrid in sight of title after beating Alaves

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!


MADRID, Spain (AFP) — Real Madrid could win La Liga on Monday after a routine 2-0 win over Alaves yesterday put them within touching distance of the title.

With suspended skipper Sergio Ramos sitting in the stands, Karim Benzema took over the armband and then penalty duties, firing in from the spot before teeing up Marco Asensio to add a second at Alfredo di Stefano Stadium.

After restoring their four-point advantage at the top of the table, the pressure is back on Barcelona.

If Barca fail to win away at Real Valladolid today, Madrid will clinch the title with two games to spare by beating Granada on Monday at Los Carmenes.

Yet even if Madrid have to wait, it seems inevitable they will hoist the trophy given they also boast the superior head-to-head record against Barcelona with three games left.

Madrid can afford to draw two of those, even if Barcelona manage three victories out of three.

“We still don't know what is going to happen,” said Real Coach Zinedine Zidane. “La Liga is very hard and we have three finals still to go.”

“We have to stay focused,” added Raphael Varane.

After sacking their Coach Asier Garitano last week following five consecutive defeats, Alaves never looked likely to cause an upset.

This loss in Juan Ramon Lopez Muniz's first game in charge leaves them hovering above the relegation zone, only three points ahead of Real Mallorca who have hope after their win over Levante on Thursday.

Zidane will be relieved all the same, particularly as he had to do without a string of key players.

Ramos and Dani Carvajal were both banned while Marcelo was injured, taking out three of Madrid's regular back four.

Eden Hazard was unable to start but came on in the second half to ease concerns about niggling problems with his ankle.

A makeshift defence, including Lucas Vazquez at right back, chalked up another clean sheet, Madrid's fifth in a row for the first time in 12 years. It is also their sixth in eight games since the restart.

Alaves might have broken that run in the first few minutes as Joselu headed against the crossbar and Lucas Perez's follow-up had to be cleared off the line by Varane.

Eder Militao then had to make a perfectly timed challenge to prevent Perez going clear.

But Madrid survived and then took the lead in the 11th minute, Ferland Mendy driving to the line and going down under the sliding tackle of Ximo Navarro, who caught him with his trailing leg.

Benzema scored the penalty for his 23rd goal of the season.

Oliver Burke twice caused Madrid problems with weaving runs forward before Benzema hurt his neck from an awkward fall on the stroke of half-time.

Benzema was able to continue but injured Referee Gil Manzano was replaced by Rodriguez Carpallo, whose first big decision was to allow Madrid's second goal.

Rodrygo did well to muscle his way through midfield before freeing Benzema, who looked offside but sped forward and side-footed for Asensio to tap in. Replays showed Benzema had timed his run and the goal stood.

Thibaut Courtois had to make two smart saves but Madrid were cruising by the end.

Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior should have made it three when queueing up at the back post but two was enough.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaper-login


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT