Real Madrid go into the short La Liga winter break at the top of the table. Against Deportivo Alaves, ten madridistas took advantage of a set-piece in stoppage time to win
There was already good news for Real Madrid on Thursday evening ahead of their final league game of the year. Thanks to Girona’s 1-1 draw at Real Betis, the Whites were able to leapfrog the Catalans to the top of the table by beating Deportivo Alaves. An undertaking that turned out to be more difficult than expected in the Basque Country, although the visitors created the first chance early on through Valverde (2nd).
Only Valverde stands out
In the remainder of the first half, the uninspired Madrilenians, with Nacho replacing Alaba, who had already undergone surgery and suffered a serious knee injury in the 4-1 win over Villareal, did not come up with much. As a result, after Luis Rioja’s shot was blocked in the 8th minute, the game became rather tense. It was not until more than half an hour had elapsed that the next highlight came, again from Valverde (38′). However, his powerful long-range shot was blocked by Deportivo keeper Sivera, as was the Uruguayan’s first attempt, which is why the game went into the break scoreless.
Nacho kicks and flies
After the break, it was Nacho of all people who caused the first unpleasant upset. On the halfway line, the Spaniard stepped on Samu’s hamstring from behind with an open sole. Initially given a yellow card, Isidro Diaz de Mera Escuderos corrected his first decision after a VAR review and sent off the Real captain with a red card (55′). The bottleneck in the Madrid backline was thus exacerbated
However, Alaves were unable to do anything with the quantitative advantage. The hosts were unable to find any playful solutions against the ruthless capital side, for whom Tchouameni slipped into central defense as a substitute. Instead, it was the decimated Whites who missed the chance to take the lead through Rodrygo (75′).
Kroos sets up the winning goal
In an uneventful final phase, it looked for a long time as if the points would have been shared and Girona would have gone into the new year as league leaders. However, Los Blancos struck in stoppage time: a Kroos corner found a completely free Vazquez, who headed in from close range for a much-acclaimed 1-0 victory (90.+2).
The late winner means Real Madrid go into the first game of the new year as leaders. The Whites host RCD Mallorca on January 3 (7.15pm). Alaves host Real Sociedad the evening before at the same time.