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Almeria 1-2 Real Madrid: Spanish champions survive scare to start their season with a win

Defending champions Real Madrid come from behind to beat Almeria 2-1 in their LaLiga opener… with substitute David Alaba scoring the winner with his FIRST TOUCH after Lucas Vazquez had equalised

  • Real Madrid came from behind to defeat Almeria in their opening game of the La Liga season today
  • Substitute David Alaba scored with his first touch of the game after coming on for Ferland Mendy
  • Largie Ramazini opened the scoring for the hosts after Antonio Rudiger’s error allowed him to run through
  • Lucas Vazquez had squared things up for Real Madrid on the hour in a game the champions dominated

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Second half substitute David Alaba scored with his first touch, from a direct free-kick to get Real Madrid off to a winning start away at Almeria.

With the score at 1-1 Alaba replaced Ferland Mendy on 74 minutes. Carlo Ancelotti was using a break in play created by Luka Modric winning a foul on the edge of the Almeria area.

Alaba trotted on and fancied it. Karim Benzema stepped aside and the Austrian defender curled the set-piece over the wall, it kissed the post and hit the back of the net. The clock now showed 75 minutes and it was time for a drinks break so Alaba jogged back off the pitch with his team-mates for refreshments.

David Alaba scored Madrid's second with 15 minutes to go, ensuring the champions survived an opening day scare

David Alaba scored Madrid’s second with 15 minutes to go, ensuring the champions survived an opening day scare

Alaba had just replaced Ferland Mendy, and struck with a direct free-kick to put his side ahead on 75 minutes

Alaba had just replaced Ferland Mendy, and struck with a direct free-kick to put his side ahead on 75 minutes

Madrid had to call on the first team cavalry after a much-changed team fell behind early against newly promoted Almeria.

It was Antonio Rudiger’s error after six minutes that gifted a former Manchester United youth team player the chance to score. Rudiger was two steps behind central defensive partner Nacho and when Inigo Eguaras clipped the ball over the top he tried to correct his position but Largie Ramazini ran in behind him and slotted the ball past Thibaut Courtois to make it 1-0.

The 21-year-old Belgian forward who played a Europa League game for Manchester United in 2019 before turning down a new contract and joining Almeria, celebrated with a somersault and a back flip and Rudiger did his best to recover his composure.

Antonio Rudiger’s error after six minutes allowed Largie Ramazini to run in behind him and slot the ball past Thibaut Courtois

Antonio Rudiger’s error after six minutes allowed Largie Ramazini to run in behind him and slot the ball past Thibaut Courtois

Largie Ramazini sent those in attendance at the Power Horse Stadium into ecstasy as the newly-promoted side took the lead

Largie Ramazini sent those in attendance at the Power Horse Stadium into ecstasy as the newly-promoted side took the lead

Fellow debutant Aurelien Tchouameni tried to make him feel better by committing an error that would have been just as grave had Almeria not missed the subsequent chance.

Playing in the Casemiro role he was caught out in possession but when Sadiq Umar ran on to the ball he blazed over.

Rudiger improved as the half when on and his ball over the top for Benzema was worth of a goal but his soft volley was saved. He also went close with a header but was foiled by Almeria keeper Fernando Martinez.

Madrid forced 12 first half corners but the Fernando saved their best efforts including one shot from Vinicius who was the visitors’ best player. Carlo Ancelotti had seen enough by half time and brought on Luka Modric and Madrid were strong at the restart with Vinicius hitting a post.

Lucas Vazquez squared things up for Real Madrid on the hour after Fernando Martinez had saved from Vinicius Junior

Lucas Vazquez squared things up for Real Madrid on the hour after Fernando Martinez had saved from Vinicius Junior

The bad news for Madrid was that Benzema’s aim was off but others stepped up.

First Lucas Vazquez levelled on the hour. Vinicius ran at the Almeria defence and when Fernando saved, the ball ran to Lucas who scored. It was Madrid’s 23rd shot, their 12th on target, finally they had the breakthrough and predictably it was created by Vinicius.

It was tough on Alemeria who had impressed on their return to the top flight but Madrid’s bench is stronger than most of the teams in the division’s first XI. Alaba climbed off of it and won the game the champions.

MATCH FACTS

Almeria: Fernando, Ely, Akieme, Chumi, Babic, Kaiky (Puigmal 81), Costa, Robertone (Sanchez 57), Eguaras (Portillo 81), Sadiq (Sousa 71), Ramazani (Carlos Lazo 71).

Subs not used: Fuoli, Centelles, Appiah, Rojas.

 Goals: Ramazani 6.

Booked: Sadiq, Sanchez, Sousa.

Manager: Rubi.

Real Madrid: Courtois, Nacho, Mendy (Alaba 74), Rudiger, Vazquez, Camavinga (Modric 45), Kroos (Casemiro 83), Tchouameni (Hazard 58), Benzema, Valverde, Vinicius (Ceballos 83).

Subs not used: Lopez, Lunin, Odriozola, Vallejo, Militao, Mariano, Asensio.

Goals: Vazquez 61, Alaba 75.

Booked: Camavinga.

Manager: Carlo Ancelotti.

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