Real Madrid defeated Celta Vigo 4-1 on the strength of a goal from Luka Modric, giving them a 2-0 record in the new LaLiga season.
The reigning Spanish champions made it two wins in a row in La Liga this season with a sensational goal by Luka Modric that gave Real Madrid a 4-1 victory at Celta Vigo on Saturday.
Just before halftime, Modric scored from outside the penalty area to restore Carlo Ancelotti’s team’s lead after Iago Aspas’ early penalty at the opposite end had cancelled out Karim Benzema’s early penalty.
As Madrid improved upon their 2-1 victory over Almeria in the La Liga season opener, they joined Real Betis and Osasuna at the top of the early standings with six points each. Vinicius Junior and Federico Valverde both scored additional goals in the second half, and Eden Hazard had a late penalty saved.
“He makes an excellent leader for us. He scored the game’s most crucial goal by giving us the lead once again, which made the rest of the game easier for us “Ancelotti spoke on Onda Cero radio about Modric, who earned a standing ovation from the Galician crowd.
“When supporters of opposing teams thank you and appreciate you, that is something extremely meaningful. It’s beautiful, “Real Madrid TV was told by the Croatian.
At Balaidos, Real seized the lead within the first 30 minutes when Benzema converted a penalty after the official flagged Celta’s Renato Tapia, a Peruvian midfielder, for handball following a VAR review.
MORE ABOUT LUKA MODRIC GOAL
Midway through the first half, though, Eder Militao’s arm-blocking of a Goncalo Paciencia header earned Celta a penalty of their own, which was converted perfectly by veteran striker Aspas, who scored 18 goals in all last season.
Then, as Celta looked to take the lead against a Real team playing their first game after agreeing to transfer midfielder Casemiro to Manchester United, Franco Cervi scuffed a shot just wide.
Modric, who had returned to the starting lineup, made it 2-1 three minutes before halftime by gaining possession 25 metres from the goal, moving forward, and then curling a powerful shot high into the back of the net from the edge of the D.
After the break, Real showed its superiority as Modric sent Vinicius scurrying past goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin to score the third goal for the visitors in the 56th minute.
Before the halfway point of the second half, the score was 4-1. Vinicius attempted to find Benzema, but the Frenchman slipped, allowing Valverde, who had just arrived, to plant a low first-time effort into the far corner.
Celta’s situation could have been worse since late in the game, when Hugo Mallo fouled Karim Benzema in the area, Madrid was awarded another penalty. Benzema handed the penalty kick to replacement Hazard, but Marchesin stopped the Belgian’s attempt.
This was an astonishing seventh penalty in three La Liga games on Saturday, with Borja Iglesias converting twice from the line as Betis defeated Real Mallorca 2-1 earlier in the day.
Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors, was in the crowd when Iglesias gave Manuel Pellegrini’s Betis the lead in the ninth minute of the Balearic Islands match after Mallorca’s Rodrigo Battaglia was penalised for handball after a VAR review.
Vedat Muriqi of Kosovo headed Mallorca back into the game early in the second half after a Lee Kang-in cross, but Betis was awarded another penalty after Battaglia unluckily impeded Nabil Fekir’s approach to the area.
Iglesias, who also scored in last week’s 3-0 season-opening loss to Elche, converted his 73rd-minute penalty with ease, and Betis held on for a 2-1 victory as Lee’s late free-kick hit the wall.
Two additional penalties helped Osasuna defeat Cadiz 2-0 in Pamplona. Chimy Avila converted the first one late in the first half, and Kike Garcia added the second late in the game after Cadiz’s Tomas Alarcon was dismissed.
For the first time since 1981, Osasuna has won its first two games in La Liga after defeating Sevilla last week.
The following weekend, Betis, the reigning Copa del Rey champion, will host Osasuna.
On Sunday night, Barcelona travels to Real Sociedad, and Atletico Madrid hosts Villarreal.