Real Madrid - Alavés live stream online: LaLiga 2017-18
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Real Madrid extended their winning run in all competitions to five consecutive games with a 4-0 victory over Alavés in the Bernabéu on Saturday, the first time Zinedine Zidane’s side have managed their own personal manita of triumphs in a testing season for the reigning Liga champions.
Cristiano Ronaldo (2), Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema provided the goals against an Alavés side who had been on an impressive streak of their own with three straight wins guiding Abelardo’s side clear of the relegation zone and injecting El Glorioso with a much-needed dose of confidence ahead of the visit to the Bernabéu. That much was evident from the off as the visitors went at Madrid with drive and invention, hitting on the break and carving out some decent chances in an even first half as Real’s habitual defensive frailty allowed Hernán Pérez and Alfonso Pedraza to wreak havoc on the flanks.
Alavés had almost lost both of their wide men to injury inside 10 minutes, Pedraza requiring heavy strapping to his wrist after being bundled into the advertising hoardings by Dani Carvajal and the Paraguayan briefly sitting on a stretcher after a clash with Theo Hernández. But both were able to continue and the punches continued to rain down on both sets of defenders in an end-to-end first half that looked destined to end level before Ronaldo turned on a sixpence to stroke home a beautiful flick from Benzema on the edge of the area.
Benzema turns in another selfless performance
Zidane has often remarked that he is not particularly bothered if his striker scores goals and it was Benzema who provided the second immediately after the restart, stealing the ball in midfield and spotting the run of Bale, who careered down on Fernando Pacheco’s goal and beat the Alavés stopper at his near post.
That knocked the wind out of the visitor’s sails and 15 minutes later Ronaldo added a second after a sweeping Madrid move, clipping a shot from Lucas Vázquez’s assist past Pacheco to make it 3-0.
Alavés continued to threaten and had their chances to get on the score board but Keylor Navas again put in a performance that made a mockery of constant speculation over his position as Real’s number one to repel everything that came his way, a sprawling save from Pérez and a fine block from a point-blank belter from Alexis keeping the score to zero in the first half.
As the game progressed it became a matter of when, not if, Madrid would add to their tally with Ronaldo, Bale and Vázquez all going close before Alexis brought down the Welshman in the final seconds to hand Ronaldo the opportunity to claim a hat-trick. Sportingly, the Portuguese handed the ball to Benzema, who had found the net in LaLiga only once since November to end his purgatory. The Frenchman duly dispatched an expert spot-kick past the dive of Pacheco, who had guessed correctly, to complete what undeservedly became a rout in the second period.
Still, Abelardo’s side have enough breathing space to take the defeat on the chin and during the first 45 minutes landed enough blows on the European champions to suggest they will not be drawn back into the relegation mire this season. For Zidane, a total of 30 goals in seven games and a first Liga clean sheet of 2018 was a decent afternoon’s work with his side focused more on Europe than domestic affairs this season. Victory also took his side past the 50-point mark and strengthened their grip on a top-four finish, which will still be regarded as a failure after last season’s achievements but is a consolation prize that a few weeks ago was in some doubt.