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La Liga 2019/20: Real Madrid start campaign with away win over Celta Vigo

ANALYST
News
191   //    18 Aug 2019, 01:50 IST

Karim Benzema (left) scored Real's first La Liga goal of the campaign during their 3-1 win over Celta Vigo
Karim Benzema (left) scored Real's first La Liga goal of the campaign during their 3-1 win over Celta Vigo

Embattled Frenchman Karim Benzema banished the memories of an inconsistent previous season by opening the scoring for 33-time league champions Real Madrid against Celta Vigo, during their 3-1 away win to kick off their La Liga season with a much-needed victory.

Back in favour, Gareth Bale was a surprise starter in coach Zinedine Zidane's line-up for this fixture following an intense summer of speculation linking the Welshman with a number of rumoured destinations - including the cash-rich Chinese Super League.

He repaid his coach's faith in him, providing the assist for Benzema to break the deadlock. Celta had the bulk of possession and also a goal disallowed for offside, though Madrid led 1-0 at the interval.

Toni Kroos scored a spectacular goal to double Madrid's lead at Celta Vigo
Toni Kroos scored a spectacular goal to double Madrid's lead at Celta Vigo

Toni Kroos doubled Madrid's lead with a screamer on the hour mark. In an early contender for Goal of the Season, the German maestro let fly from distance and watched as Ruben Blanco's despairing dive wasn't enough. The Balaidos descended into stunned silence.

As the match wore on, Zidane rung in the substitutes: Isco and Lucas Vazquez replacing Bale and Vinicius Junior, before Benzema turned provider to tee up Vazquez. His confident close-range finish rubber-stamped their authority on the game.

The capital club failed to latch onto a clean sheet though, with substitute Iker Losada pulling a goal back in stoppage-time to offer some semblance of respectability to the scoreline. It's still early days and there will be sterner tests ahead against more formidable opposition. But on the afternoon, Zidane's side can be quietly pleased about their work as Real top La Liga for the first time in two years.

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