Sep 23, 2017 at 3.15pm UK at ​Mendizorroza, Vitoria, Basque Country
Attendance: 19,559
AlavesAlaves
1-2
Real Madrid
Garcia (40')
Vigaray (14'), Ely (45'), Medran (61'), Garcia (67'), Torres (87')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Ceballos (10', 43')
Carvajal (32'), Nacho (88')

Result: Real Madrid return to winning ways

Result: Real Madrid return to winning ways
© SilverHub
Spanish champions Real Madrid return to winning ways in La Liga courtesy of a 2-1 victory over struggling Alaves on Saturday afternoon.

Spanish champions Real Madrid have returned to winning ways in La Liga courtesy of a narrow 2-1 victory over struggling Alaves in the Basque Country on Saturday afternoon.

Los Blancos entered the match off the back of a 1-0 home defeat to Real Betis on Wednesday night, but picked up all three points in Alava to move into fourth position in the La Liga table.

Real Madrid's team showed four changes from the one that started against Real Betis on Wednesday night, with Marco Asensio, Lucas Vazquez, Nacho and Dani Ceballos replacing Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Marcelo and Gareth Bale.

As for Alaves, on-loan Barcelona forward Munir El Haddadi once again led the line for the Basque club, while Valencia loanee midfielder Alvaro Medran started against his former club.

As expected, it was the visitors that dominated the ball in the early stages, but Alaves were a threat in the final third, with Munir's movement causing Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane problems at the heart of the Real Madrid defence.

Zinedine Zidane's side made the breakthrough in the 10th minute, however, when Ceballos worked some space inside the Alaves box before finding the bottom corner with a smart finish to register his first Real Madrid goal.

The away side's next opportunity did not arrive until the 23rd minute, but Ramos could only head Cristiano Ronaldo's chipped free kick into the arms of waiting Alaves goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco.

Ronaldo then met a near-post Isco corner on the half-hour mark, but the number seven's effort was too high as it remained 1-0 to the visitors following a first 30 minutes that struggled to produce opportunities.

Pacheco made a decent save to prevent a Nacho header finding the back of the Alaves net in the 31st minute, but the home side were causing problems down the other end, with a succession of crosses into the Real Madrid box forcing Casemiro and Varane to both make brilliant clearances.

Indeed, Alaves deservedly levelled the scores in the 40th minute when Manu Garcia headed a wonderful Munir cross into the top corner as the Basque club registered their first league goal of the 2017-18 campaign.

Real Madrid regained the lead less than three minutes later, however, when Ceballos found the back of the net with a cool finish after Alaves goalkeeper Pacheco had failed to hold on to a Dani Carvajal cross inside his own box.

Ronaldo came close to sending Real Madrid 3-1 ahead early in the second period after collecting a brilliant pass from Carvajal, but the attacker sent his low effort just wide of the post.

Ronaldo had another opportunity in the 53rd minute after working some space just outside the Alaves box, but he missed the target once again, before Pacheco made a smart save to deny Isco, who had broken the offside trap.

Real Madrid's number seven looked certain to be sending the away side 3-1 ahead in the 63rd minute after curling a beautiful effort towards the far corner, but the post saved Alaves as the 32-year-old was denied once again.

Ramos did have the ball in the back of the Alaves net moments later, but the centre-back's header was chalked off by the referee following a foul inside the home side's penalty box.

Alaves almost levelled 20 minutes from time when Alfonso Pedraza's effort took a big deflection before heading towards the Real Madrid goal, but the woodwork saved the visitors during an end-to-end period of the match.

Ramos then had a golden chance down the other end after Pacheco spilled the ball to the Real Madrid centre-back on the penalty spot, but the Spaniard somehow fired over the crossbar as the score stayed 2-1.

Pedraza hit the Real Madrid woodwork for the second time in the 76th minute following a mistake from Varane, and a late goal or two appeared certain with both defences looking shaky in the second period.

Pacheco made two super saves to deny Vazquez and Ronaldo in the final 10 minutes, but 2-1 was how it finished as Real Madrid returned to winning ways against an Alaves side that have now lost all six of their league matches this season.

Real Madrid will now switch their attention to the Champions League as they prepare to travel to Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night. Alaves, meanwhile, are next in La Liga action away to Levante next weekend.

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Sergio Ramos kisses the trophy after the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid on May 28, 2016
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona24195062115162
2Atletico MadridAtletico2416713692755
3Valencia24144647281946
4Real Madrid23136455262945
5Sevilla2412393135-439
6Villarreal2411583529638
7EibarEibar2410593236-435
8GironaGirona249783430434
9Celta Vigo249694134733
10Real Betis24103114150-933
11Getafe2471072621531
12Real Sociedad2485114645129
13Leganes2385102025-529
14Athletic Bilbao2461082427-328
15AlavesAlaves2491142233-1128
16Espanyol246992232-1027
17Levante24311102138-1720
18Las PalmasLas Palmas2453161852-3418
19Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo2445152453-2917
20Malaga2434171538-2313
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