Real Madrid 1-2 Alavés: Zidane’s men are falling apart in LaLiga
Lucas Pérez and Joselu struck in the Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano to secure a historic win for Alavés and condemn Real Madrid to a second defeat in three games and place the defending champions’ title defence under serious doubt after just 11 weeks of LaLiga action.
The visitors were well-organized and took full advantage of Madrid’s high defensive line to place Thibaut Courtois’ goal under siege. The Belgium stopper made a horrible error of judgment to hand Alavés their second goal but had it not been for the keeper the score might have been considerably higher in favour of Pablo Machín’s side.
Madrid’s makeshift back line was carved open again and again by the swift incursions of Luis Rioja, Pérez and Joselu, who took full advantage of the lack of cohesion in a defensive line shorn of Sergio Ramos.
Casemiro threw the home side a lifeline late on when he stabbed home a rebound from substitute Vinicius’ effort and Isco clipped the bar with the final kick of the game but Alavés held on to boost themselves up to eighth in the division.
Zidane’s side remain in fourth, six points behind Real Sociedad and Atlético Madrid, who have a game in hand over their city rivals. Madrid travel to Sevilla next before hosting Diego Simeone’s side in the capital city derby a week later.
All over in the Di Stéfano! Alavés beat Madrid 2-1 and that’s one point from three Liga games for the defending champions, who face Sevilla and Atlético next.
Woodwork! Isco clips the bar with the final kick of the game! Alavés cling on to secure a famous victory!
But Isco hits a soft ball into the wall. Alavés break again through Deyverson and Madrid manage to win it back for a final charge…
Free kick for Madrid, probably the final chance of the game!
Good defending from Nacho as Alavés looked to break again with Madrid committed.
Nice control from Mariano but the the striker catches Ximo Navarro in the chops with an attempted overhead and Alavés have a free kick.
Pacheco almost buys himself a yellow card taking his time over a goal kick…
Five minutes added in the Di Stéfano!
Deyverson on for Alavés.
Joselu looks like he has twanged something and won’t be able to continue by the looks of things.
Courtois! Another save from the Belgian to deny Javi López!
A few minutes on the clock and Madrid come charging forward as they look for another. Édgar goes into the book for flooring Casemiro.
Pacheco stops a Vinicius effort but the rebound drops to the Brazilian a yard out and all he has to do is prod home into an empty net!
Gooooooooooooool! Casemiro! Madrid pull one back!
Alavés clear and break but this time Rioja is alone as he streaks forward. Lucas Vázquez decides not to take any chances though and flattens the winger just in case. Free kick to the visitors.
Another free for Madrid, Odegaard over it…
Lejeune! Off the line! The Frenchman throws himself at a Casemiro effort with Pacheco finally beaten and gets his head to it to prevent Madrid pulling one back!
Free kick for Madrid, Odegaard looks for Casemiro at the far post but the Brazilian is flagged offiside.
Just over 10 minutes for Alavés to protect a two-goal lead in Madrid. We fancy the visitors, who have plenty of tired legs out there after a lung-bursting effort, will start to drop back now.
Isco with an awful effort from the edge of the area, almost out of the ground that from the Spain international!
A decent evening’s work from Alavés if they can maintain their lead. They were 15th at kick off.
PTS MP W D L
15 11 4 3 4
14 9 4 2 3
13 11 3 4 4
13 9 3 4 2
12 9 4 0 5
Lucas Vázquez! The interim right back has a crack and it’s not far off sneaking in at the far post.
Rodrygo! It wasn’t the best hit of his career but the Brazilian’s shot narrowly misses the far post.
Zidane rolls the dice… Mendy, Odegaard and Isco on, Modric, Marcelo and Kroos off.
Joselu! Madrid are just asking for a third here! Pérez again is sent scurrying through with Varane for company and he squares for Joselu, the former Madrid striker hammering high from the edge of the area.
Good spot from the ref, who cards Rioja for diving instead of pointing to the spot as the winger goes down under a challenge from Casemiro. It looked a decent shout until the replays showed no contact at all.
Isco and Odegaard warming up for Madrid.
Ninth corner for Alavés as Rioja and Varane go toe-to-toe on the right.
The last time Madrid came back from two goals down to either win or draw was in 2017, according to Mr Chip, in a 3-3 draw against Las Palmas.
Courtois! A fine save from the Belgian to deny Pérez, who is again allowed to waltz straight through the Madrid centre.
And there is the change, Asensio off. The Spain international has still not really found his rhythm yet after a long injury lay off.
Vinicius is getting ready to come on for Madrid.
Corner for Madrid as Laguardia heads a Mariano-bound ball behind. Kroos goes for the near post arrival of Asensio but Alavés are wise to the ploy.
Joselu! Pérez picks a lovely ball and his strike partner only has to whack it! He doesn’t quite connect at the vital moment though and it pings harmlessly into the gloves of Courtois.
Kroos again! It’s a decent strike from the edge of the area but whistles wide of Pacheco’s far stick.
Laguardia is pulled up for a foul on Nacho though. The delivery was, by Pérez’s standards, poor anyway, clearing the assembled shirts of both hues in the area.
An Alavés free kick is nodded behind for another corner, Pérez trotting over.
Kroos! He’s landed a few of those in his time… the Germany international tracks a ball on the edge of the area and hits it first time but Pacheco gets down to make the save.
Another loose ball from Madrid, this time from Marcelo, finds Rioja on the far side and he’s allowed to run into the area and force Courtois into a save, albeit a comfortable one.
Madrid are now officially in a spot of bother.
What an error from Courtois! Varane’s ball back to the keeper wasn’t the best but rather than belt it to the far end Courtois tries to pick a pass and finds the Alavés striker, who strokes it back into an empty net!
Asensio! Good work from Marcelo to release the winger and he sends in a wicked cross that Rodrygo just can’t get a toe to.
No further changes at half time.
We’re back underway!
Courtois and Pacheco deep in conversation in the tunnel. The keepers’ union. It is a funny old position.
Reports coming in that Hazard has a muscle issue. The Belgian will undergo tests tomorrow and have a scan if necessary.
Madrid ended the first half the stronger side and embellished their stats a bit with a late flurry. Eight shots for the home side at the break with five on target, but only two of those really required a save.
And that’s the half! Madrid go into the break 1-0 down after Lucas Pérez’s penalty.
One minute. Madrid pushing for the psychological blow of an equaliser but Alavés have a throw in the opposite half and are in no rush to take it…
There won’t be al lot added at the end of the first half.
Corner for Madrid… but it’s another poor delivery from Kroos and Pacheco gathers with ease.
Nice work from Modric to tee up Mariano but the striker’s header flies over.
It’s worth mentioning at this point that Madrid’s next two Liga games are against Sevilla, who are one point behind Zidane’s side after a 1-0 win at Huesca earlier, and Atlético, who are six points ahead after winning by the same margin at Valencia.
Pacheco! A double save from Toni Kroos keeps Alavés in front! Rodrygo has changed Madrid’s dynamic since coming on and the home side are suddenly looking a bit more lively.
Another corner for Madrid, another comfortable clearance from Alaves.
Casemiro is almost on the end of that one! Alavés manage to glance it behind for a corner.
Free kick to Madrid, Kroos over it…
We’re not quite sure on what basis Zidane is persisting with a high defensive line here. Alavés look dangerous every time they move the ball forward.
Alavés wreak havoc down the left! Rioja, who is very, very quick, is allowed to canter away and Modric just about manages to track him back. Reinforcements arrive for the visitors who thread it to Pérez. The striker just can’t get it out from under his feet though.
And it’s Hazard! The Belgian is off and he must have picked up a knock or felt something during a challenge in the area a few minutes ago. More injury woe for Madrid, who have been luckless on that front this season.
Rodrygo is preparing to come on… we’re not quite sure for whom but clearly someone has signalled to the bench.
Machín applauds his side as the defence block a Modric move with several white shirts lurking at the back post. The visitors have been excellent so far.
Courtois! A terrible sequence from Madrid as Hazard and Kroos both enable an Alavés break. Pérez is through on his own and tries to chip Courtois, who makes a reaction save with one hand from point blank range!
Kroos, by contrast, fails again to find a white shirt with another free kick in the opposition half.
Another fantastic delivery from Pérez and Lejeune is almost on the end of it! The Frenchman puts his head in his hands… he knows that only needed a touch.
Another corner for Alavés… Madrid are on the back foot.
Hazard! A moment of magic from the Belgian as he nicks the ball, drives towards goal and unleashes a decent effort. Again, it’s straight at Pacheco though and the former Madrid keeper will keep those out until the cows come home.
It’s not quite coming together for Madrid at the moment. Modric spins in midfield to lose his man and looks for Marcelo on the left but his pass is straight out on the far touchline.
Another Alavés corner… that’s five now by our count.
The first yellow card of the game is shown to Casemiro, who clips Lucas Pérez in midfield.
Modric attempts to release Hazard but a firm tackle sends the Belgian spinning to the turf.
Mariano! The Madrid striker gets a firm header on target but it’s straight at Pacheco.
Rubén Duarte concedes another corner as he turns Lucas Vázquez’s cross behind.
Madrid have another opportunity from the corner flag but Alavés clear with little fuss.
Decent cross from Marcelo from the left but Mariano can’t get his head on it. That was the first chance the home side have created.
Modric isn’t happy as he is bundled off the ball but the ref waves his complaints away.
The visitors look very comfortable in possession here. Madrid have barely got into an attacking position yet and the press from the home side is non-existent.
That’s five penalties conceded by Madrid in their last three Liga matches. Another corner for Alavés…
Well, that is not ideal from Real Madrid’s point of view. Kroos over a free kick in the other half but Alavés clear.
Gooooooooooooooooool! Lucas Pérez! The striker hits it low and hard to the right of Courtois, who guesses correctly but can’t get a glove to it. What a start for El Glorioso!
The Madrid defender has his back to the ball but it did clearly hit his arm. Huge chance for Alavés here.
Penalty! Handball against Nacho!
Oops, Marcelo plays a back pass and Nacho and Courtois think the other one has it. Neither do and Alavés have a corner…
Alavés with plenty of the ball early on, looking to get it out to the left side and Luis Rioja.
We’re off! Madrid in white, Alavés in blue and white stripes.