Isco Alarcon returned back to goal scoring as his goal and that of Gareth Bale helped Real Madrid see out Celta Vigo 2-0 in Zidane’s first official game on his return.
Zinedine Zidane caused a bit of stir with his first starting line up, as he brought his old and trusted players such as Isco, Marcelo, Asensio and Keylor Navas back into Real’s starting line up.
In a match up were he set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation and no DM in place.
Many can argue that injuries to the likes of Vinicius Jnr, Lucas Vazquez and suspension to Casemiro could have easily influenced this decisions, but Isco had not started a game in the league since October (When Los Blancos were whitewashed by Barcelona).
While Courtois and Reguilon were also the preferred goal keeper and left back under Santiago Solari.
The players definitely repayed Zidane’s confidence in them as they produced a confidence display to gift Zidane a win on his return.
• It was a special game particularly for Isco. He didn’t only return into Real’s starting line up, he also returned to goal scoring whilst making the most of the 63 minutes offered to him by Zidane.
Isco scored the opener for Real Madrid in the 62nd minute. It was a beautiful counter attack engineered by Marco Asensio. He beat several of his markers before passing to Benzema who slid the ball from the left to Isco for a tap in.
The last time Isco scored a goal at the Santiago Bernabeu for Real Madrid in the league was also against Celta Vigo– coincidentally, Zidane’s last home game before his resignation.
• Here’s Isco game by numbers via Squawka:
– 63 minutes played
– 97% pass accuracy
– 48 touches
– 4 shots
– 3 chances created
– 2 tackles
– 1 goal
15 minutes after Isco broke the deadlock, Gareth Bale gave Zidane’s side a reassuring second goal. The welsh man set himself up and hit a low shot past Celta’s GK with his right foot.
It was also a great display by Real Madrid’s defensive unit led by Keylor Navas as they recorded a first cleansheet in 10 games (all competitions).
The win saw Zidane end Real Madrid’s four-game losing streak at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Laliga Santander Table:
|3||Atlético de Madrid||13||6||6||1||15||8||+7||24|
• Real Madrid have now reduced the deficit on second placed Atletico Madrid, who lost 2-0 to Athletic Bilbao at San Mames.