Hello and welcome to Sports Mole
's live coverage of the match in La Liga between Real Madrid
and Celta Vigo
. All of the talk in the build-up to this game has been about the return of Zinedine Zidane
, but Real cannot afford any distractions if they want to end the campaign ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid. The two teams are making their way out at the Bernabeu, so let's see who features in each starting lineup...
REAL MADRID XI:
Navas; Odriozola, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Kroos, Isco
; Bale, Benzema, Asensio
CELTA VIGO XI: Blanco; Kevin, Araujo, Costas, Junca; Yokuslu, Lobotka; Sisto, Mendez, Boufal; Gomez
There is going to be much made of that Real starting lineup! Navas, Marcelo, Isco and Bale are all named in Zidane's first XI.
KICKOFF: Real get us underway!
It goes without saying that there is a full house at the Bernabeu. Zidane's return has been warmly welcomed. Celta have had most of the ball since kickoff, however.
SUBSTITUTION! This is a huge blow for Celta. Junca has picked up what appears to be a thigh or groin injury. Southampton loanee Hoedt is being introduced in his place.
SHOT! That change was followed by a corner for the home side, but Ramos could only send a shot over the crossbar.
Marcelo has been heavily involved during the opening stages and is currently offering the biggest threat for Real. Nevertheless, Reguilon will wonder why he has been dropped. The youngster has performed well since his introduction to the first team.
CHANCE! More positive play from the Brazilian ends with a cutback towards Isco. The recalled playmaker turns sharply in the penalty area before sending a shot over the crossbar from 12 yards out.
SHOT! It is all Real, but Celta have just shown their hosts that they should not be taken lightly. Gomez was left one-on-one with a defender, but the Uruguayan's attempted curler went well wide of the far post.
Celta are beginning to warm into this. They have still only created that one opening, but the visitors look settled when in possession in the centre of the pitch.
SAVE! What an outstanding save from Navas! A right-wing cross finds Gomez around eight yards from goal, and the striker's header appears destined for the net. However, the recalled goalkeeper sticks out a hand to tip the ball over the bar!
Celta are the better side now. Real have not built on their positive start, and the away side are causing all kinds of problems in the final third.
Real have taken a step back to get their foot back on the ball. They are showing respect to Celta, which may not have been the case earlier in the contest.
There's a subdued atmosphere inside the Bernabeu this afternoon. It's not what you would have expected on Zidane's return. Celta continue to enjoy themselves.
Celta win a free kick in a threatening position on the right-hand side of the penalty area, but the inswinging delivery goes over everyone and out of play.
There's not a lot happening right now. Real are passing the ball about without much pressure from their opponents.
SHOT! Kroos decides to take it upon himself to get a shot away from 30 yards, and the German's strike only goes narrowly over the crossbar.
OFF THE BAR! Real are upping their game and they come agonisingly close to an opening goal. Asensio's cross made its way through to Bale at the back post, but the Welshman's volley hit the underside of the crossbar before bouncing clear.
Now Bale gets back to make a fine tackle to prevent a cross from being delivered into Real's penalty area. This is a big day for the forward. He needs to impress both his new boss and the home supporters.
CHANCE! Back come Celta and a long ball towards Gomez is only half-cleared into the path of Boufal. However, the Southampton loanee's volley is comfortably saved by Navas.
CHANCE! Real twice go close in the space of 30 seconds. Marcelo saw a long-range strike tipped wide of the post by Blanco, before Ramos headed the resulting corner wide of the far post from around eight yards out. The defender should have scored.
This is a big seven minutes for Celta. They deserve to reach the break on level terms, but they cannot afford to get complacent ahead of half time.
Bale has improved as the first half as progressed, and the Welshman's low cross from the left almost finds Benzema for a tap-in from close range.
Asensio wants a penalty after a cynical foul from Kevin. The referee asks for assistance from VAR, and it is decided that no further action will be taken. It's a foul, but the incident does not take place inside the area.
Celta are having to dig deep to remain on level terms. Real have upped the pace, and it is making a difference.
YELLOW CARD! Bale is booked for an elbow on Kevin. He is lucky to stay on the pitch. The forward was attempting to reach the byline, but caught the defender on the chin.
There will be three minutes of added-on time.
HALF TIME: Real Madrid 0-0 Celta Vigo
The half-time whistle goes at the Bernabeu and we remain on level terms. It's been a really good half of football with both sides having opportunities to take the lead, although the onus is on Real to make something happen after the break.
Here's a rundown of the benches available to the two managers...
REAL MADRID: Courtois, Ceballos, Diaz, Mariano, Nacho, Reguilon, Valverde
CELTA VIGO: Alvarez, Beltran, Boudebouz, Hjulsager, Jensen, Jozabed
The two teams are making their way back out at the Bernabeu.
KICKOFF: Celta get us back underway!
Real have picked up where they left off in terms of passing the ball about at pace, but they are yet to create another chance. It is going to be interesting to see how Celta approach this second half. A draw would be a fantastic result, but they cannot afford to sit too deep.
The home side win a corner on the right, but Mendez is at the near post to head the ball away.
Bale needs to be careful. He has just gone in late on Boufal, but had the sense to pull his foot out of the tackle at the last minute.
What an opening for Celta. The visitors break three-on-two through Boufal and the winger has two teammates to his left. However, the Moroccan proceeds to pass the ball straight to Navas! It's an outrageously bad pass.
Real have the ball in the back of the net with Modric sending a volley into the bottom corner from 25 yards. However, there is a case for offside. We are going to VAR...
DISALLOWED GOAL! Yep. It is disallowed. It's harsh on Modric, but Varane was in the path of the ball and standing close to Blanco. The referee was asked to give his own view, and he went with offside.
Real are frustrated, but they remain focused on opening the scoring. It has been a one-sided second half so far.
SHOT! As I say that, Boufal sees a deflected effort go wide of the target, although I don't think that it would have troubled Navas.
GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Celta Vigo (Isco)
GOAL! Real finally take the lead! Asensio goes on a mazy run across the edge of the area before playing in Benzema down the left-hand side of the box. The Frenchman opts to deliver a low pass across the box and Isco is there to convert from close range. Great goal.
SUBSTITUTION! Zidane makes his first change with Ceballos replacing Isco.
Celta are left with the choice of stick or twist. They are capable of finding an equaliser, but Real look relatively comfortable at the moment.
CHANCE! Bale almost finds a second, and it would have been a brilliant goal. The Welshman drifted inside and advanced into the penalty area, but his resulting shot was comfortably kept out by Blanco.
SUBSTITUTION! Celta make a second change with Hjulsager replacing Boufal.
Real still need to be careful. The home side are caught out on the counter with Hjulsager progressing down the right, but the substitute's shot was well blocked by a defender.
SHOT! Benzema has had a really good match today, and the Frenchman is only denied a goal on the volley by a solid stop from Blanco. Bale teed up his teammate with a perfectly-floated pass from the edge of the area.
Real win another corner on the right, but Celta deal with the danger. A second goal only feels a matter of time.
SUBSTITUTION! Celta make their final alteration with Beltran being sent on for Yokuslu.
SUBSTITUTION! Zidane makes a change of his own with Valverde replacing Modric.
GOAL! Real Madrid 2-0 Celta Vigo (Gareth Bale)
Game over. Marcelo threads a pass through to Bale, and the Welshman steadies himself before firing a right-footed shot into the net via the inside of the post.
SHOT! Asensio has been the star of the show this afternoon, and the Spaniard almost caps his performance with a goal. The playmaker turned on the edge of the area before firing just off target from 25 yards out.
SUBSTITUTION! Real make their final switch with Mariano replacing Benzema.
This game feels as good as over as a contest. Celta aren't exactly pushing hard to halve the deficit. Real are happy to sit deep.
More of the same with the ball being played about in the middle of the park. This is going to be the perfect return for Zidane.
Both teams are literally going through the motions. I'm not sure why Celta are not making more of an effort to get on the scoresheet.
There will be four minutes of added-on time.
SHOT! A chance is created for Kroos on the edge of the area, but the German hits a first-time strike harmlessly over the crossbar.
FULL TIME: Real Madrid 2-0 Celta Vigo
The full-time whistle goes at the Bernabeu and Real have recorded a deserved 2-0 win over Celta Vigo. Zidane took a risk by recalling a number of out-of-favour players, but it paid off as Isco and Bale both got on the scoresheet.
That will be all from Sports Mole for this game. Thank you for joining us this afternoon. If you would like to read our on-the-whistle match report, you can do so by clicking here. Goodbye for now.