Real bounce back from El Clasico loss

LaLiga

Real Madrid stretched their lead at the top of the LaLiga standings to 12 points after beating Celta Vigo 2-1 on Saturday evening.

Los Blancos were boosted by the return of Karim Benzema and Ferland Mendy from injuries while Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez were recalled in the four changes from a heavy defeat against Barcelona.

The game got off to a flying start and after a couple of missed chances, Madrid were awarded a penalty in the 18th minute after Eder Militao was pushed down in the box by Nolito.

Benzema stepped up to take the spot-kick and gave Carlo Ancelotti's charges the lead with a composed strike down the middle past goalkeeper Matias Dituro, who dived early.

Celta were asking questions too and Thiago Galhardo thought he had levelled matters just before the half-time break after his towering header in the box went in off the post across the goal-line but his goal was chalked off by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) for offside on Iago Aspas.

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Madrid had a bright start in the second stanza but they were caught on a counter-attack in the early stages as Nolito levelled matters for Celta with a close-range strike after a defence-splitting pass by Javier Galan.

Ancelotti responded by bringing the fresh legs of Rodrygo in attack just after the hour-mark and the move paid off as the Brazilian won Madrid a penalty just after coming on after he was brought down in the box.

However, Benzama's spot-kick was saved by Dituro but the Frenchman's blushes were spared just five minutes later as the referee pointed to the spot again for a foul on Mendy in the box and Benzama was clinical with his third penalty, as he put the visitors ahead after sending the Argentine goalkeeper the wrong way.

Ancelotti refreshed his midfield in the latter stages as Federico Valverde replaced Luka Modric and Dani Ceballos came on for Toni Kroos, as Los Blancos survived a late surge from Celta to move 12 points at the top of the log.

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