MADRID: Real Madrid inflicted Celta Vigo’s first defeat of the season to move three points clear at the top of La Liga thanks to a 3-1 win at Balaidos on Saturday.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Danilo struck within the first 23 minutes for Real, who were also grateful to another spectacular goalkeeping display from Keylor Navas to keep Celta at bay.
Celta were reduced to 10 men just 12 minutes into the second-half when Gustavo Cabral was dismissed for a second bookable offence, but they still pushed Real all the way as Nolito set up a grandstand finish five minutes from time when he fired into the top corner.
La Liga: Leaders Real Madrid travel to second-placed Celta
However, Marcelo rounded off the scoring with the final kick of the game.
“We had a lot of chances to finish the game before,” said Real boss Rafael Benitez. “In the end we had to suffer because we needed the third goal, but we have to take the positives — coming to such a difficult place after playing Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday and getting a great result.”
Meanwhile, Nolito admitted that Navas had just been too good. “We have to congratulate him because he stopped three of four clear goals which I don’t know how he saved,” he told Canal Plus.
He added: “Even if you lose there can be a lot of positives. We played a great match even with 10 men and I think the team should be credited for that.”
Real go top: Ronaldo breaks Raul’s record in 3-0 win
Elsewhere, Sevilla continued their improvement after a stuttering start when Kevin Gameiro netted a hat-trick for the Europa League holders as they hammered 10-man Getafe, who had defender Carlos Vigaray sent off on the hour, 5-0 at the Sanchez Pizjuan.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2015.
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