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Spain - Primera Division
Celta de Vigo
Deportivo La Coruña
March 10, 2013
• Estadio de Balaídos, Vigo
Referee: Javier Estrada Fernández
• Attendance: 25344
Celta de Vigo
Iago Aspas 63'
Cristiano Ronaldo 61', 72'
What a brilliant game that was! Thank you for following our LIVE commentary here on Goal.com. My name's Charlie Scott and I'll be on duty for Barcelona against Milan on Tuesday so I hope you will join me for that! Good night!
FULL-TIME: CELTA 1-2 REAL MADRID Jose Mourinho's side had Cristiano Ronaldo to thank for all three points as he scored twice in the second half at Estadio de Balaidos. Iago Aspas scored Celta's goal between Ronaldo's efforts, while Park Chu-Young struck the bar late on for Abel Resino's side. Madrid go second for the time being after winning here, with Atletico Madrid playing Real Sociedad later today.
90' + 4'
And there is the final whistle! Madrid have won this match 2-1!
90' + 3'
GOOD SAVE FROM VARAS!! Higuain has another opportunity to score for Madrid but his effort on this occasion is weak and is deflected wide by Celta's goalkeeper.
90' + 2'
Park turns his way past Essien inside the Madrid box but his low shot is straight at Lopez. Another Celta chance goes begging!
90' + 1'
Celta's fans are on their feet roaring their team on here!
Three minutes of added time here at Estadio de Balaidos...
CELTA HIT THE BAR!! Park Chu-Young sends a header onto the crossbar from 10 yards with Lopez caught in no-mans-land. The Madrid goalkeeper dived off his line to try and beat the Celta sub to the ball but was nowhere near it! What a chance that was!
WHAT A MISS FROM HIGUAIN! The Argentine should seal all three points after being set up by Ronaldo but his side-footed shot from close range drifts the wrong side of the left-hand post.
Celta are sending high crosses into the box whenever they can here as they smell an equaliser. Lopez looks shaky in Madrid's goal and the home side have picked up on that.
ASPAS CURLS A SHOT OVER!! The 25-year-old lifts an effort over Lopez's bar with his left foot after finding a small pocket of space on the edge of the Madrid penalty area. You can see why he normally uses his right boot for shooting!
A sloppy pass from Higuain is stolen back by Celta but they fail to make the most of possession as they surrender the ball in the centre circle to Modric. I would not be surprised by another goal here!
MADRID'S DEFENCE IS ALL OVER THE PLACE! Celta nearly draw level from a corner after los Merengues' back-line freeze and the ball loops just wide off the thigh of Essien.
Modric wins the ball in midfield for Madrid and nearly releases Ronaldo with a fine pass, but Madrid's No. 7 is stopped from latching on to the ball by a great interception from the Celta right-back Jonny.
Pepe wins a fortunate free kick inside his own half after tussling with Aspas as the two challenge for a high ball. If anything that looked like a foul by the Portugal centre-back!
Aspas crosses the set piece towards Tunez but the Celta defender is beaten in the air by Pepe.
Free kick to Celta on the right...
Kaka and Ronaldo link well as los Blancos hare forward in search of a third goal but they are stopped from entering the Celta box by a well-timed tackle from Demidov.
Pepe steals the ball from Aspas and Madrid immediately switch into counter-mode...
LOPEZ STOPS ASPAS' SHOT WELL!! The Celta goalscorer hammers a shot at goal from distance that Lopez gets down to keep out but again the ball squirms invitingly towards a Celta player. Fortunately for Madrid Lopez is able to dive on it just as Augusto looked to poke it past him.
Penalty Goal Cristiano Ronaldo
RONALDO CHIPS THE PENALTY DOWN THE CENTRE TO MAKE IT 2-1! Madrid are back in front at Estadio de Balaidos as Ronaldo bags his second with a calm Panenka past Varas.
Yellow Card Javi Varas
THE REF HAS AWARDED MADRID A PENALTY!! Kaka goes down under a challenge from Varas after controlling a high pass from Alonso inside the Celta box. The ball was going out of play and there wasn't much contact there. I'm not sure if that's the right decision from the referee.
I tell you what - Jonny has done pretty well at right-back for Celta tonight. He's just 19 but we haven't seen much of Ronaldo due to the youngster's confident performance.
LOPEZ IS LUCKY TO GET AWAY WITH THAT! The Madrid goalkeeper spills a cross from the left towards Aspas and is saved by a last-ditch challenge from Albiol on the Celta forward. Cue a huge sigh of relief from Lopez!
Augusto tries to replicate his assist to Aspas for the equalising goal with a cross from the right but Lopez gathers the ball for Madrid this time, with Aspas lurking.
Mourinho is going for the jugular! He has used up his last two substitutions to bring on Kaka and Gonzalo Higuain.
Goal Iago Aspas
Assist Augusto Fernández
Goal Cristiano Ronaldo
GOALLLL!!! RONALDO GIVES MADRID THE LEAD!! The ball ricochets inside the Celta box following a long-range effort from Alonso and eventually falls right at the feet of Madrid's top scorer. He coolly fires the ball into the back of the net on the turn to make it 1-0 to the visitors.
THAT IS A MARVELLOUS GOAL.. BUT IT'S BEEN DISALLOWED! Benzema slots the ball underneath Varas from 10 yards after linking superbly with Ozil but the linesman on the far side has his flag in the air and the goal is ruled out! Correct decision! It was a lovely touch from Ozil to release Benzema there though, that deserved a goal.
BRILLIANT PLAY FROM MADRID!! Alonso finds the Brazilian full-back out on the left with a glorious pass from midfield. Marcelo drives into the box before shooting at goal but he needed to show a little bit more composure in that situation as his effort flew high over Varas' crossbar.
Former Bayern Munich midfielder Danijel Pranjic is the man that replaces the injured Alex Lopez for Celta.
Before they can make that change Madrid are on the attack though, and Benzema very nearly scores for the visitors! Again Varas is called into action, this time he dives to his left to keep out a curling shot from Madrid's No. 9.
Lopez is receiving treatment off the pitch at the moment, and it looks like Celta are going to make a substitution to deal with that.
Alex Lopez has pulled up for Celta. That looks like a hamstring injury. He may have to go off, which is a shame as he's been very good for his side tonight.
Ronaldo jinxes his way past Jonny on the left before firing a firm effort towards the near post, but his shot flies off target and into the side netting. Varas is visibly relieved by that!
Madrid have enjoyed a fantastic couple of weeks, beating Barcelona twice and triumphing in the Champions League against Manchester United. They are yet to find the net tonight though, which will worry Mourinho the longer the game goes on.
Essien curls a cross in from the right-hand side but Varas is off his line quickly for Celta to get to the ball before Ronaldo.
STAT: Madrid have scored at least two goals in 19 of their last 22 matches in La Liga.
Madrid make one change at half-time as Khedira is replaced by Xabi Alonso. They get the second half underway here at Estadio de Balaidos.
Join me in 10 minutes for the second half of this exciting Liga clash!
How do you guys see the second half panning out? I want to hear your scoreline predictions! Post them in the comments box on the right or log on to Twitter and find me at @charliefscott.
HALF-TIME: CELTA 0-0 REAL MADRID The first half at Estadio de Balaidos has been defined by some fantastic goalkeeping from Diego Lopez and Javi Varas. Both teams have had chances to score, but both have been kept at bay by some fine saves. Cristiano Ronaldo struck the crossbar with a header late in the half for Madrid, while Celta's Iago Aspas forced Lopez into a smart stop early on.
45' + 1'
Celta finish the half strongly but cannot carve out a shooting chance as Madrid put in some timely tackles inside their own box.
The fourth official signals for one minute of added time...
The Portugal international did brilliantly to connect with that cross from Benzema. He beat both Demidov and Tunez in the air!
Yellow Card Raúl Albiol
RONALDO HITS THE BAR!! The Madeira-born forward slams a header onto the crossbar from close range after meeting Benzema's well-weighted cross from the left. Madrid are looking very dangerous as we approach half-time here.
VARAS DENIES CALLEJON!! The Madrid man controls the ball brilliantly inside the box and hits a shot goalwards but again Varas is there to save his side.
The game is really opening up now as Madrid's front six start moving the ball well.
Corner to Madrid on the right. Ozil swings it in but Varas gets to the ball ahead of Albiol, who had come up from defence for the set piece.
The former Manchester United man does opt to shoot, but the Celta wall stands strong and deflects his effort away.
Vadim Demidov is penalised for a foul on Ronaldo over on the left and Madrid have a chance to hurl a free kick into the Celta box. Or alternatively Ronaldo might shoot from a tight angle.
STAT: Celta have looked good tonight but they are on a rotten run of form at the moment. They have won just one of their last eight matches in La Liga (W1, D2, L5).
MARCELO TESTS VARAS!! Madrid have stepped up a notch in the last few minutes with first Benzema and now Marcelo coming close to scoring. The Brazilian fired a shot from the left side of the Celta box but Varas was equal to it.
Cynical play from Celta! Madrid try and counter through the centre of the pitch but that attack is brought to an abrupt end by a Lago block on Callejon on the halfway line.
BENZEMA HEADS STRAIGHT AT VARAS! The former Olympique Lyonnais striker has a fine opportunity to make it 1-0 to Madrid but his headed effort from eight yards goes straight into Varas' arms.
That is not very nice from De Lucas! The Celta midfielder is rightly shown a yellow card by Javier Estrada after catching Modric with a late tackle just outside the Madrid penalty area.
Yellow Card De Lucas
Possession has been split right down the middle so far! Celta 50%-50% Real Madrid.
Madrid continue to be thwarted by Celta's well-organised defence here. Modric has just tried to thread a pass to Benzema but Andres Tunez read the play to intercept the ball and move it away from danger.
STAT: Celta's last home Liga win over Madrid was a 3-0 success in May 2001.
Lago is penalised for a high challenge on Ozil, and Madrid have a free kick inside the centre circle.
VARAS KEEPS BENZEMA'S SHOT OUT! The France international bundles his way into the Celta box and hammers a low shot at goal with his right foot, but Varas makes a good stop for his team with his legs to keep the score at 0-0.
RONALDO SHOULD SHOOT THERE!! The Madrid attacker wastes a great chance to test Javi Varas by being too unselfish. Really! He should shoot at goal with his left foot but tries to set Benzema up instead and Celta are able to recover possession.
DE LUCAS CURLS THE FREE KICK JUST OVER!! The former Chelsea midfielder nearly gives Celta the lead from the set piece as he watches his shot fly over the crossbar.
TRICKY PLAY FROM KROHN-DELI! The Denmark international is too quick for Pepe on the left as he drags the ball away from the Madrid defender and draws a foul in the process. Free kick to Celta to the left of the Madrid penalty area.
STAT: Madrid have been caught offside seven times in the first 20 minutes!
More good defending from Celta! Madrid have three players in an offside position this time as the home team's back-four again step forward to thwart Mourinho's side.
Marcelo covers Alex Lopez on this occasion which prompts a direct approach from the set piece. The ball is curled to the near post by Aspas but Ronaldo is in the right place to help out defensively and head it away.
Celta have another corner on the right. Will it be dinked to Lopez on the edge of the box again?
Luka Modric is flagged offside by the linesman as Celta's defence steps up in unison to catch him out. That has worked well for the home team in the opening 15 minutes but they will have to be careful as Madrid certainly have the pace in their side to time their runs from deep.
STAT: Celta have had four shots on target already compared to Madrid's zero.
Karim Benzema has the ball in the net but he is miles offside! The whistle had clearly gone against him and he still put the ball in the net, which could easily have resulted in a yellow card. Luckily for the Frenchman the referee Javier Estrada was lenient on this occasion.
Celta have started very brightly here!
ANOTHER STRONG STOP FROM LOPEZ!! Diego Lopez saves from Alex Lopez after the Celta midfielder arrowed a first-time volley on target after connecting sublimely with Michael Krohn-Deli's corner from the right.
GOOD STRIKE BY ASPAS!! The Celta forward angles a shot towards the bottom right corner from 20 yards but Lopez manages to tip the ball round the post and out for a corner.
Sami Khedira tries to trick his way into the Celta box with a flick round Roberto Lago but he gets too much on the touch as the ball rolls over the line for a goal kick to the home side.
Augusto Fernandez pushes the ball past Marcelo before hammering a cross-shot towards Lopez's near post. The Madrid goalkeeper does well to not spill the ball with Aspas ready to pounce had he done so.
Callejon looks to be in on goal but the linesman brings a stop to the Madrid break by raising his flag. He's on the money there as the Madrid academy graduate had received the pass from Ozil while in an offside position.
The home side are pushing forward on the right but Marcelo has started the game well for Madrid and has stopped a couple of Celta attacks already with some tidy challenges.
Madrid have a chance to leapfrog Atletico Madrid and go second if they win tonight, albeit potentially for just a couple of hours. Their cross-city rivals are two points ahead of them in La Liga and play Real Sociedad later on this evening.
CELTA HAVE AN EARLY CHANCE!! Diego Lopez is made to sprint from his line and block Iago Apas first-time shot after the striker profited from Raul Albiol losing his footing on the edge of the Madrid box. Smart goalkeeping from the recent signing from Sevilla!
Celta get this game up-and-running at Estadio de Balaidos...
Marcelo is captaining Real Madrid today. That is a strange one.
Just a few minutes left until kick-off in Galicia. What do you lot think of that Madrid starting XI? Send your thoughts to me over on Twitter @charliefscott.
If any of you fancy a flutter I'd suggest backing Ronaldo to score tonight. He has scored five against Celta already this season, in just three games.
So there's no Xabi Alonso or Sergio Ramos for Madrid, as the likes of Michael Essien and Jose Callejon are handed rare starts. It will be interesting to see how Marcelo fares for the reigning Liga champions at left-back. The Brazilian has failed to nail down a starting place since recovering from a serious ankle injury, with Mourinho apparently unimpressed by his efforts in training.
Subs: Adan, Kaka, Carvalho, Arbeloa, Alonso, Morata, Higuain
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Lopez; Essien, Albiol, Pepe, Marcelo; Khedira, Modric; Callejon, Ozil, Ronaldo; Benzema
Subs: Sergio, Bermejo, Pranjic, Cabral, Bellvis, Park, Orellana
Celta (4-2-3-1): Varas; Jonny, Tunez, Demidov, Lago; Oubina, Lopez; Augusto, De Lucas, Krohn-Deli; Aspas
Jose Mourinho has made a fair few changes from the team that beat Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford during the week. Breathe easy though Cristiano Ronaldo fans, he starts for Madrid. I've got both starting XIs coming right up!
Madrid come into this game in brilliant form, having won their last five in all competitions. In 2013 they have lost just once in sixteen matches, against Granada in La Liga on February 2. Los Blancos currently sit in third, while their opponents today occupy 19th place at the other end of the table.
My name is Charlie Scott and I'll be guiding you through all the twists and turns of tonight's game. As always you can share your views with me by using the comments box to the right of this commentary, or by logging on to Twitter and sending your thoughts to @charliefscott.
Good afternoon/early evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Primera Division encounter between Celta and Real Madrid at Estadio de Balaidos.
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