Alaves vs Real Madrid: Ceballos double secures victory for La Liga champions

Real Madrid News Mariano Diaz

Real Madrid already trail rivals Barcelona by seven points after just five games and can not afford any more slip ups.

Zinedine Zidane's side lost 1-0 to Real Betis on Wednesday to leave them adrift of runaway La Liga leaders Barcelona.

With Toni Kroos injured, Ceballos took the place of regular starter Luka Modric, who Zidane rested ahead of the trip to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday. His powerful header from a cross by Munir El Haddadi was the Basque Country club's first goal of the season.

It was the Dani Ceballos show at the Mendizorrotza, as he opened the scoring with a well-taken strike, only for Manu Garcia to deservedly draw Alaves level in the 40th minute.

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Just three minutes later, however, Pacheco's punch to clear a corner dropped in front of Ceballos on the edge of the box, and the midfielder connected with his volley sweetly to restore Madrid's advantage just before the break.

Alaves nearly levelled 20 minutes from time when Alfonso Pedraza's effort took a big deflection before heading towards the Real Madrid goal, but the woodwork saved the visitors during an end-to-end period of the match. Marco Asensio played in Ceballos, who cleverly cut the ball back before finishing the chance for the lead.

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.

Pedraza hit the Real Madrid woodwork for the second time in the 76th minute following a mistake from Varane, and a late goal or two appeared certain with both defences looking shaky in the second period. Alaves, meanwhile, are next in La Liga action away to Levante next weekend.

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