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Spain - La Liga
Celta de Vigo
Deportivo La Coruña
6 January 2014
• Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
Referee: Alfonso Alvarez Izquierdo
• Attendance: 65217
K. Benzema 67'
Cristiano Ronaldo 82', 90'+
Celta de Vigo
That is it from me, Tom Webber, for this evening. Have a great night!
FULL TIME - Real Madrid 3-0 Celta: Los Blancos had to work hard for the result, but after Benzema broke the deadlock Ronaldo followed up with a double to move the hosts to within five points of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the top of the table. The Galicians, meanwhile, drop into the relegation zone due on goal difference.
90' + 3'
Assist Gareth Bale
90' + 3'
Goal Cristiano Ronaldo
GOOOOOOOAAL! Ronaldo scores his 20th Liga goal of the season! Bale raced along the byeline and cut the ball back for the Portuguese who fired a shot into the roof of the net.
90' + 3'
The referee blows for full time!
Bale warms the hands of Yoel with an effort from the left as we move into the three minutes of added time.
SO CLOSE!! Krohn-Dehli spots the run of Cabral at the back post and he picks him out with an impressive cross from the left. The centre-back shows no conviction with his header, though, and merely prods the ball into the side netting.
GREAT CHALLENGE!! Nolito plays a brilliant reverse pass into Krohn-Dehli on the overlap but Carvajal sticks with him and gets a foot to the ball to stop the Dane from testing the keeper.
Ronaldo is called offside as he receives a pass from Bale inside the box. That strike a few moments ago was the Portuguese's 19th Liga goal of the season, seeing him draw level with Diego Costa in the Pichichi rankings.
Celta are still pushing forward and Ramos is forced to acrobatically divert Orellana's driven cross out of the box. This could leave the vistors open to the counter.
Assist Daniel Carvajal
Goal Cristiano Ronaldo
GOOOOAAL! Ronaldo does find the net this time, though! Carvajal plays a teasing ball in from the right which evades Benzema at the near post but is met by the Portuguese inside the six-yard box and he sweeps home the winner.
Ronaldo pulls wide to the left and shifts the ball onto his right as Hugo Mallo stands him up. He is looking for the far corner but he fires an effort straight into the arms of Yoel.
Penalty claim for Celta as Rafinha goes to ground under a challenge from Modric. The visitors win a corner and the on-loan midfielder does not feign injury or remonstrate with the referee, instead opting to get in place for the subsequent delivery.
Madrid are not out of the woods yet. Celta have three pairs of fresh legs on and they will be eager to stake a claim for a spot in the starting line-up by impressing in these closing stages.
Santiago Mina Lorenzo
Hugo Mallo catches up with Jese on the near side and manages to put a powerful challenge in to concede a corner. The pair have a handshake afterwards to show there is no ill-feeling.
JUST WIDE!! Benzema picks out Ronaldo with a great pass and Cabral fails to track his run. The Portuguese attempts to pick out the far corner but he drags his effort wide of the post. A rare bright moment from Ronaldo tonight.
Jese has been excellent since coming on and he puts another tantalising cross into the box but Benzema is followed all the way as he attempts to get on the end of it.
Nolito takes it... and he fires it over! The Barcelona man was looking to put that in the top corner that Diego Lopez was standing on but he aimed too high and too wide.
That is reckless from Pepe as he clambers over the back of Krohn-Dehli just outside the box. Celta have a great chance to equalise now.
Well, Celta have been made to rue those missed chances throughout the game now. Luis Enrique has now introduced former Barcelona winger Nolito.
Assist Jesé Rodríguez
Goal Karim Benzema
GOOOOOOAAL!! Madrid finally have the breakthrough as Carvajal's cross goes all the way through to Jese at the back post. The youngster shows good composure to pick out Benzema in the middle and he angles the ball into the far corner with an important flick. Relief all around the Bernabeu.
MADRID GO CLOSE! Bale whips in a great cross from the right and Jese meets it at the back post, rolling it across the face of goal with his first touch but putting it just out of the reach of Benzema.
CHARLES!! HE MUST SCORE THERE! It was so simple for Celta to carve apart Madrid there as Rafinha's diagonal pass put his compatriot through on goal. He tried a casual dink over the onrushing Diego Lopez but he put it well wide of the target. A shameful miss.
Ángel Di María
STAT: Celta have suffered five defeats from their eight away games to date in this campaign. They could be on for a precious point at the Bernabeu tonight, though!
JESE!! That could have been the perfect introduction but his first shot at goal was rolled straight into the awaiting arms of Yoel. Ramos had done well to keep the ball alive after Cabral had thwarted his ambitious overhead kick attempt there.
Celta win a corner as another shot from Rafinha is deflected behind off of a white shirt. Orellana delivers it but Diego Lopez comes off his line to claim it with consummate ease.
Hugo Mallo again pushes down the right and he receives a pass from Rafinha in space. He sets himself with his first touch and then fires an effort on goal from distance with his second, but that was always bending off target.
This is better from Madrid, but they are still struggling to find a way through the heart of this Celta team. Di Maria decides to whip in a cross from the right and Benzema gets his head to it but loops it well over the roof of the net.
ISCO! The former Malaga man receives a fantastic pass from Illaramendi inside the box and he spins his marker with his first touch. He attempts to fire a low shot into the near corner but it is a tame effort which Yoel claims.
That is poor from Di Maria! The Argentine had plenty of options inside the box as Madrid broke at pace but his pass to Carvajal was overhit and Yoel smothered it.
Di Maria clips a delicate pass over the top of the defence for Benzema to run onto but yet again the Frenchman is offside. He really needs to time those runs better.
STAT: In the past 10 seasons only Barcelona, with four victories, have won more often as an away side at the Bernabeu than Celta, who have been victorious twice. (via @OptaJose)
Di Maria catches Alex Lopez in possession on the edge of the Celta area and the ball breaks for Ronaldo. He smashes it first time towards the target but the attempt is ballooned into stands behind the goal.
Marcelo goes down following a fairly inoccuous coming together with Rafinha. His foot got stuck in the turf and it looked like that could have been a bad one, but the left-back should be able to continue.
The second half is underway! Alonso is replaced by Illaramendi for the second half.
Welcome back! Not long to go now until the second half. Will Madrid finally make the breakthrough they need in order to keep pace with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, or are Celta going to spring a surprise?
HALF TIME - Real Madrid 0-0 Celta: The visitors have been disciplined defensively but also created the better of the chances throughout the first half. Los Blancos' attackers have been sub-par so far this evening, so improvements are needed after the break.
45' + 1'
The referee blows his whistle to signal for half time.
45' + 1'
Just one minute of added time to be played.
STAT: Real Madrid have won 18 of their last 19 home matches in La Liga.
Yellow Card Augusto Fernández
A short corner finds Modric in the box but he cannot find a route to goal for his shot as it slams into the swarm of bodies inside the area.
Di Maria's touch let him down there as he was unable to control Ronaldo's brilliant pass in behind the defence. The poor first touch allowed Costas to get between him and the ball and the chance is lost.
Good hands from Yoel as he anticipates Di Maria's bending effort and manages to get comfortably in the way of it. It was another Madrid counter that led to that so Celta need to be careful.
If Madrid are going to get anything soon it will come down their right flank. Orellana is caught on the ball again and he fouls Benzema in order to stop the Frenchman from coming away with possession. Di Maria flights in the set play but the assistant referee signals for an offside decision.
JUST WIDE!! Rafinha drives at the defence yet again and he looses a shot at goal from 20 yards. Pepe gets his body in the way but the deflection almost loops the ball into the opposite side with Diego Lopez stranded. Blushes are spared as the ball drops outside of the post, though.
Celta have had an efficient half so far tonight, and have arguably had the better of the chances to find the net. Ronaldo has faded into a peripheral figure, while Isco and Di Maria are also yet to really make a mark on the action. All that leaves Benzema with very little service.
Yellow Card Alex López
A moment of brilliance from Alex Lopez as he flicks the bal over a Madrid player, but in his attempts to keep hold of it he puts a clumsy challenge in on Pepe and earns a booking for his tackle.
OUBINAAA!! He should score! Alex Lopez's corner is allowed to bounce in the box and it makes its way through to Borja Oubina at the back post. The midfielder gets down low to try and not the ball into the net but he gets his angles wrong and sends it high over the bar.
Hugo Mallo ventures forward for the first time this evening and wins his side a corner. Ramos gets his head onto the delivery that quickly follows but Celta come straight back at the hosts and earn another corner, this time on the other side.
Orellana makes a diagonal run across the Madrid defenders and flicks Rafinha's cross towards the far post with his head, however he is unable to find the target.
WHAT A STRIKE!! Modric skips between two Celta players and lashes an attempt at the target as Alex Lopez closes him down. He strikes it brilliant, but the effort lacks the required dip to test Yoel and it arrows narrowly over the top.
Madrid are being forced to play their football down the wings during this first half as Celta are getting plenty of bodies into the middle of the pitch. The hosts nearly break them on the counterattack but Ronaldo is the next player to have his effort on goal blocked.
Madrid take another short corner on the far side but Isco fouls Yoel as he goes to challenge for Alonso's cross into the area.
BENZEMA!! CLOSE! Carvajal races past Orellana and cuts the ball back from the byeline. Ronaldo brings it under control before laying it at the feet of Benzema, however the Frenchman's effort is deflected wide by Costas.
Madrid counterattack through Ronaldo but his attempt to spread the play out to Di Maria is too firm and it forces the Argentine down to the corner flag, where the attack loses its momentum.
Alonso is down following a collision with Oubina just outside the Celta box. He looked to have won the ball with his head there but the referee has awarded a free kick for handball.
Isco has been force to pull wide in order to influence the game during the first half and he lofts as pass down to Carvajal at the byeline. The right-back drills a cross in but he is unable to find a white shirt. After an open start the game is going a little flat.
Orellana picks up the ball as Modric's attempted pass to Benzema is cut out and the Chilean looks to break. His pass towards Charles is no better, though, and the hosts instantly regain possession.
STAT: Celta Vigo last won at the Bernabeu in November 2006 as a Madrid side that featured David Beckham, the original Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Raul and Fabio Cannavaro succumbed to a 2-1 defeat. Los Blancos still went on to win the league, though.
The resultant corner is played short but eventually fired in to Pepe at the back post. His header hits the arm of Costas and goes into the side netting, but a goal kick is awarded. It would have been far too harsh to have awarded a penalty as the defender had no time to move his hand.
A good block from Costas as he gets behind Benzema and gets a vital touch to the ball. The Frenchman had made a bright run into the box to get onto Ronaldo's pass, but the interception stopped him from testing Yoel.
Celta build a nice attack down the right but Fernandez's final delivery is a bit of a let down as it sails over the heads of everyone in the area. Still, an open start to this game so far.
Handball by Ronaldo! The Portuguese looked to have controlled Carvajal's deflected cross illegally and a free kick is awarded. He certainly didn't agree, mind.
Carvajal bundles Orellana to ground but the referee allows to play continue and the right-back has time to cross the ball into the box. His delivery is poor, though, and he puts it too close to the keeper who plucks it down from the sky.
Alex Lopez spins his man in midfield and spreads the play out to Fernandez on his right. The Argentine tries to angle a first-time pass into Charles but Ramos cuts it out and pushes Madrid forward from the back.
CELTA SHOULD LEAD!! Charles will not get a better chance than that as he latches onto a long ball over the top and is played onside by Pepe. The Brazilian attempted to guide a shot inside the near post but Diego Lopez gets a hand to it and sends it behind for a corner. Fantastic save.
Di Maria clips a lovely ball over the top as los Blancos break but Benzema fails to time his run accurately and is caught in an offside position.
Ronaldo has the ball taken away from him 20 yards out and drops to ground but the referee awards nothing. Rafinha picks it up and charges down the other end of the field but he is tackled by Marcelo as he looks to pick out a team-mate inside the area.
Madrid begin the game by stroking the ball about at the back neatly. Celta look well-organsied already, with both wide players dropping deep when not in possession to form a line of five across the midfield.
We are underway at the Bernabeu!
There is a moment of reflection before the game following the passing of Portuguese legend Eusebio.
The teams are out on the pitch now and kick off will be upon us shortly.
Real Madrid's last three home games have borne nine points and a whopping 16 goals. Cristiano Ronaldo was responsible for six of those with a pair of hat-tricks over two of the matches. The Portuguese has also scored seven times in the previous four meetings with Celta in all competitions. He may fancy his chances of finding the net again tonight then!
As well as Bale, Pepe is back in the squad having served his one-game suspension. Sami Khedira, Raphael Varane and Fabio Coentrao all miss out with injuries that vary in their magnitude. For Celta, Gustavo Cabral comes in to replace the injured Andreu Fontas in one of four changes made by Luis Enrique.
Celta substitutes: Alvarez, Vila, Aurtenetxe, Madinda, Santi Mina, Krohn-Dehli, Nolito.
Celta (4-3-3): Yoel; H. Mallo, Cabral, Costas, Castro; Rafinha, Oubina, A. Lopez; Fernandez, Charles, Orellana.
Real Madrid substitutes: Casillas, Arbeloa, Nacho, Illaramendi, Jese, Bale, Morata.
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): D. Lopez; Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Alonso, Modric; Di Maria, Isco, Ronaldo; Benzema.
Gareth Bale is back in the Real Madrid squad this evening, but he will have to make his return from injury from the substitutes bench if he is to do so. Nevertheless, Carlo Ancelotti has named an exceptionally strong squad for the vist of the Galicians. Full line-ups coming to you now.
Hello and welcome to this evening's LIVE text commentary on the encounter between Real Madrid and Celta Vigo in La Liga. The magnificent Santiago Bernabeu stadium is our destination this evening as los Blancos look to keep their title challenge on target with a win tonight. My name is Tom Webber and I will be your guide through this one.
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