Alaves dent Real's title charge


Real Madrid’s shaky form in LaLiga continued following a 2-1 defeat to Deportivo Alaves on Saturday evening.

Marcelo received a recall from the midweek win over Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League, with Eden Hazard featuring alongside Mariano Diaz in the attack.

Alaves raced into a fifth minute lead when Lucas Perez got the better of Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois from the penalty spot following a handball from Nacho in the six-yard area.

Mariano , who also started in Milan, went close to level things up for Madrid 15 minutes in but his towering header from a corner-kick gave little trouble to Alaves goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco.

An early change on 28 minutes from Madrid had Hazard making way for Rodrygo after the Belgian international picked up an injury.

Real pushed all out for the equaliser as the first half flew by, but went into the halftime interval trailing and in need of a comeback.

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Joselu compounded Los Blancos’ woes four minutes in the second half after pouncing on a mistake by Courtois for an easy finish with the defence in no man’s land.

Toni Kroos looked to reduce the deficit just before the midway stage of the second half with a fierce shot, but Pacheco came up with an equally smart save.

Rodrygo was next to edge closer in the last 20 minutes, but saw his shot flew inches past the post with Pacheco scrambling.

Real did halve the deficit in the last four minutes through Casemiro, who popped up at the right time to tap home a rebound from Vincius shot while Mariano had his header cleared off the line earlier on.

Isco should’ve put Real level at the death following a curling strike from the edge of the area, but hit the top of the crossbar as the match ended.