Real Madrid put on a mediocre performance against Celta de Vigo, but one that was enough for Ancelotti's pupils to collect the three points in a very cold December night at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Los Blancos were invisible through most of the first half. Celta controlled the game well by not allowing Real Madrid to get the ball out of their own half of the pitch comfortably. Their 4-2-4 pressing was very effective, and neither Illarra nor Kroos or Real's full backs were able to contribute offensively. Real's only highlight during the first 45 minutes was a bicycle kick from Cristiano Ronaldo that went just high. Luckily enough for Madrid, the referee called a questionable penalty when Ronaldo was trying to reach the ball inside the box. It looked as if the Celta defender reached in, but that move probably wasn't enough to point for the spot.
Ronaldo converted the penalty and Real Madrid ended the first half by having a good, but probably a bit undeserved 1-0 win.
The second half wasn't very different. Unfortunately for Ancelotti, James Rodriguez had to leave the game after receiving a blow to his calf. The Colombian soon felt some discomfort in his leg and asked for the substitution to happen. Arbeloa joined the game in what was a surprising move -- not thtat much considering Real Madrid's thin bench tonight -- and shortly after Cristiano Ronaldo wrapped things up with his second goal, his 200th in La Liga for Real Madrid and also his 22nd in the Spanish competition this season. His numbers speak for himself, something that can be said about Real Madrid's records as well. If we add to the equation that Ronaldo scored even one more goal to make it a hat-trick, the Portuguese's bid for this year's Ballon D'Or should not require any more official statements, no matter what Platini or Blatter say.
Overall, Real Madrid did not play that well, so to see them getting a 3-0 win against a solid Celta de Vigo side is encouraging. Ancelotti's team will now face yet another meaningless match against Ludogorets. Considering that James and Cristiano both ended the game with minor physical problems, the Italian coach will surely be glad to give them some rest.