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Three stats from Celta Vigo 0-1 Real Madrid

Including an incredible debut record for Kepa

Celta Vigo v Real Madrid CF - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Real Madrid secured a 1-0 victory over Celta Vigo at Balaídos to spoil the party as the Galician side celebrated their centenary year. The win came courtesy of a late winner from Jude Bellingham, scoring his fourth goal of the season in only his third competitive Real Madrid appearance.

The Englishman got into a poacher’s position again as Joselu flicked it back to him on the edge of the six yard box to head past Celta Vigo goalkeeper Iván Villar. In doing so, he gave Real Madrid a win which felt like it might not come after a frustrating first 81 minutes.

Here are three stats that help us to understand the game and everything that unfolded.

2: Rodrygo missed his second consecutive penalty

Last time Rodrygo Goes stepped up to take a spot kick was for Brazil at the World Cup, which all ended in tears, and as he did so against Celta Vigo, the outcome was sadly similar as Iván Villar saved his effort and turned it around the post.

Speaking pre-match, Carlo Ancelotti had underlined that the team had no designated taker. “Nobody offered, they are all trying and training in this,” he explained. “Vinícius, Rodrygo, Valverde, Luka who is used to it. In each game we’ll choose what we think is best.” With Vinícius taken off due to injury, the three other options were all on the pitch and Rodrygo got the nod.

His effort was not a bad one, registering 98% on the conversion probability registered in the xGOT metric. It was reflective of the frustration that Real Madrid experienced throughout the night, struggling to generate high-quality chances as Rafa Benítez’s team defended deep and well, particularly for the first hour of the encounter.

The forward registered no other shots on target, with one attempt going wide and another flying over the bar. That said, he was the only Real Madrid forward to register a shot in this game as Vini and Joselu both failed to fire any single attempt on goal.

1: Kepa is the first Real Madrid goalkeeper clean sheet on debut away from home this century

It took only three minutes for Kepa to concede his first goal in a Real Madrid jersey, but VAR saved the Basque shotstopper as he kept a clean sheet on his Real Madrid debut to become one of few to do so for Real Madrid in recent years. The only other man to do so in the last decade was another loanee, Alphonse Areola. He did so in 2019/20 in a 2-0 win over Osasuna at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu.

In fact, to find the last goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet on his debut before then, you’d have to go back to Antonio Adán in 2010, who made his debut in a 4-0 win over AJ Auxerre.

By Kepa achieving this feat away from home, he became the first player to do so since Pedro Contreras did in a 2-0 win against Villarreal in January 1999. It has now been only a few months less than 25 years since that day, and Kepa has pulled off the feat that the likes of Iker Casillas and other club legends to follow have failed to do.

Even to only look at the last decade and without any focus on home or away debuts, Diego López, Keylor Navies, Kiko Casilla, Luca Zidane, Thibaut Courtois and Andriy Lunin have all been beaten on their first time donning a Real Madrid jersey.

Stepping in and being given a chance by Ancelotti has seen Kepa take his opportunity with both hands after an impressive shut out helped Real Madrid. His four saves kept this game in Real Madrid’s control, denying 1.09 xG over the 90 minutes.

15: Away wins at Balaídos this century, more than any other away stadium

Real Madrid love their visits to the windswept north-west of Spain, and there’s no better example of that than the fact that this was the club’s 15th victory at the Estadio de Balaídos in the 21st century, more than at any other away stadium since the year 2000.

Los Blancos have now won five matches in a row at the stadium, which was newly expanded for this season with extended capacity behind the goal. The last time the team failed to pick up all three points in Vigo was in January 2018, when Gareth Bale scored twice in a 2-2 draw.

Since then, Real Madrid have scored 14 and conceded four in their five consecutive victories. It’s a run of form that has proven crucial to securing a strong record on the road across LaLiga over the years, with Galicia never failing to disappoint the Madridistas when they make the long journey to the furthest corner of Spain.

This win is of particular importance for Carlo Ancelotti, who was in charge the last time that Real Madrid were beaten in Vigo. That was back in 2014, just weeks before La Décima, with rotations meaning that the Italian selected Álvaro Morata and Isco as his most offensive players that day.

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