Alaves 1-2 Real Madrid: Dani Ceballos scores twice in first start for Real Madrid in tight win
By Associated Press
Last Updated: 23/09/17 5:49pm
Dani Ceballos scored twice in his first start for Real Madrid to earn a much-needed 2-1 win at Alaves in La Liga.
With Toni Kroos injured, Ceballos took the place of regular starter Luka Modric, who Zinedine Zidane rested ahead of the trip to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Madrid were also without the injured Karim Benzema and Marcelo, while Gareth Bale was left on the bench.
Ceballos scored Real's opener in the 10th minute after he received a pass from Marco Asensio, fought through a tackle, and shot just inside the post to put Zidane's men ahead.
But Manu Garcia responded by ending Alaves' long scoring drought. His powerful header from a cross by Munir El Haddadi was the Basque country club's first goal of the season.
Ceballos restored the defending champions' advantage two minutes before half-time, but Alaves almost levelled late when substitute Alfonso Pedraza twice hit the woodwork.
Ceballos put Madrid back in charge when he fired in a ball that goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco spilled when he collided with a team-mate while defending a cross.
Cristiano Ronaldo hit the goal-frame twice in the second half as the Madrid forward sought his first league goal of the season.
Alaves remain in the relegation zone after a sixth loss in as many games while Real close the points gap on league leaders Barcelona to seven points.