Soccer: Ceballos double enough for unconvincing Real
By Joseph Cassinelli
MADRID (Reuters) - Two first-half goals from Dani Ceballos helped Spanish champions Real Madrid to get back to winning ways with a nervy 2-1 victory away to lowly Alaves in La Liga on Saturday.
When Ceballos opened the scoring after 10 minutes it appeared as if normal service had been resumed for Madrid after their shock midweek 1-0 defeat to Betis.
However, their profligacy in front of goal was punished by the Basque side as Manu Garcia produced a searing header five minutes before the break to level the score against the run of play.
Three minutes later, however, Ceballos curled the ball in after the home side’s goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco put a clearance directly into his path.
After the restart there were chances at both ends as Cristiano Ronaldo –- still without a Liga goal this season -– and Alaves substitute Alfonso Pedraza both struck the woodwork twice, while Sergio Ramos fired over an open goal after another Pacheco error as Real struggled to put the game to bed.
Zinedine Zidane’s side hung on for their third win of the season to move into fourth place on 11 points, three behind city rivals Atletico, who defeated Sevilla 2-0 in the early kick-off, and four behind leaders Barcelona, who were playing later on Saturday against Catalan rivals Girona.
(Editing by Clare Fallon)