Real Madrid 5-2 Celta Vigo (Benzema x3, Vinícius Júnior & Camavinga). Here is the immediate reaction to the home victory. Still to come: press conference details, player ratings and the ManagingMadrid podcast.
It may have looked slightly different, but this Sunday’s game saw football return to the famous Santiago Bernabéu stadium once more after well over a year away. Celta Vigo would look to really spoil the party, as a poor result could knock Madrid miles away from the top spot they had managed to grab onto in the table. The ever impressive Miguel Gutiérrez started his first game at the stadium as a left-back, after impressing for Castilla at the start of their season. Only two Castilla players found themselves elsewhere in the squad, with Luis López and Antonio Blanco called up. New signing Eduardo Camavinga was also listed on the strong bench. Karim Benzema captained the side tonight.
Mistakes put a really sleazy stain on an eventful first half, as Real Madrid appeared to produce some good energy on the ball, but questionable decisions from Gutiérrez and Casemiro allowed the visitors to take the lead through Santi Mina. Eden Hazard looked to have brought his international form and confidence back to the Spanish capital, as he looked to run at players and test the goalkeeper. Madrid created enough chances to get back into the game, as Vinícius Júnior’s headed effort was met by some great reactions by a keeper who made another save not long later to deny Miguel. Hazard then made an offensive error after opting not to engage with a drag back coming his way, leaving it for a distant Fede Valverde to run onto. The equaliser did come in good time though, as Karim Benzema lifted the ball in off of the crossbar after Valverde found him inside the box. It looked like Madrid would push on and lead before half time, but it was Celta who pinched the final goal of the half after Franco Cervi took advantage of a calamitous defence and managed to beat Thibaut Courtois easily as the ball came back to him off of the post for a tap in.
The second half could not have started better for the hosts, and a lovely cross from Miguel was headed past the keeper by none other than Benzema for his second - all within the first minute. On the ball Madrid continued to look smooth and superior, and eight minutes later, Vinícius was slotted clean through. A year ago this may have been a disastrous situation for him, but this season he has demonstrated an evolved mentality in front of goal, as he stayed so calm to pass the ball around the keeper and into the bottom corner to give his side the lead. Eduardo Camavinga came on to make his debut, and made a good impression within his first three touches for the club. That would not be the last impression he’d make on the night, as he managed to score the fourth goal and put the game out of sight. He managed to be the only one to react, and connected with a rebound from a Luka Modrić shot that flew into the air. Benzema wrapped up the scoring, securing his hat-trick from the spot after Vinícius was tripped in the penalty area. The game finished at 5-2, with Real Madrid keeping their place at the top of the table after four games have been played.