Real Madrid responded to their disappointing Champions League loss away at Paris Saint-Germain by beating Alaves 3-0 in LaLiga Santander at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday night.

Marco Asensio broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute, and Vinicius Junior made sure of the three points 17 minutes later. Karim Benzema then put the cherry on top of the cake in second-half stoppage time after converting a penalty.

It was far from a vintage performance by Real Madrid, particularly in the first half, and that saw the players get whistled. There were very few chances to speak of in the opening 45 minutes, but while there was certainly a response from Carlo Ancelotti’s side in the second half, Jose Luis Mendilibar’s charges had opportunities of their own.

David Alaba’s testing free-kick caused some problems for Fernando Pacheco early in the second period, but a few minutes later Mamadou Loum was left frustrated after Luis Rioja’s cross flew over his head, following a counter-attack that was led by the Senegalese midfielder.

Straight from Loum’s chance resulting in nothing, Real Madrid came close to opening the scoring. Vinicius was put through on goal but saw his shot saved by Pacheco, with the loose ball falling at the feet of Benzema, whose shot was then cleared off the line.

Alaves had a golden opportunity to take a surprise lead in the 61st minute. Asensio’s pass back towards Thibaut Courtois was intercepted by Pere Pons, who had just come on for Jason, but after rounding the Real Madrid goalkeeper he could only fire into the side netting.

The game’s first goal

Then, as often happens, Real Madrid scored two minutes later. Asensio had been whistled for his poor pass a couple of minutes earlier, but he used that internal frustration to his benefit as he came in from the right and fired a wonderful shot into the far corner of Pacheco’s goal from the edge of the box. The 26-year-old’s celebration saw him respond to the crowd, calling for them to back the team rather than the whistle, before kissing the badge.

Ancelotti curiously opted against making any substitutions, but it seemed to work out in the end as Real Madrid continued to push forward. Benzema hit the post in the 77th minute, and then three minutes later the Frenchman played a one-two with Asensio before picking out Vinicius, who was running towards the near post and simply fired a first-time shot past Pacheco.

It was at that point that Ancelotti decided to turn to his bench, making five substitutions in a five-minute period. The victory was already in the bag, but Benzema was able to get his name on the scoresheet in second-half stoppage time from the penalty spot. Rodrygo Goes, one of the substitutes who came on, was brought down by Florian Lejeune in the area, which was followed by Benzema sending Pacheco the wrong way.

Real Madrid now move seven points ahead of second-placed Sevilla, while Alaves stay in 19th, four points from safety.

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Courtesy: MARCA

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