Dominant first half performance enough for Real Madrid
Real Madrid 3-1 SD Eibar
Real Madrid beat Eibar 3-1 on Sunday in their first competitive match at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium following La Liga's three-month break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Toni Kroos got Real off to an ideal start at the empty stadium based at their training ground by scoring in the fourth minute while captain Sergio Ramos struck on the half-hour mark before Marcelo netted in the 37th.
Real did ease off after the interval and Eibar forward Sergi Enrich struck the woodwork before Pedro Bigas pulled a goal back for the visiting side on the hour mark.
Real coach Zidane used all five of his substitutions as his players continued to tire.
The win kept Real on La Liga leaders Barcelona's heels with 59 points after 28 games. They are two points behind Barca after the Catalans beat Real Mallorca 4-0 on Saturday.
Cuadra Fernández calls time on the action. All over at the Alfredo di Stefano with three points for Real Madrid as they keep the title race alive.
Courtois called into action as he smothers with Pedro Leon lurking.
Cristoforo carded as he trips Toni Kroos.
4 minutes of time to be added.
Into the final minute of normal time. The game as a contest realistically lasted 45 minutes as Zidane's side step of the gas in the second half. Eibar have at least accredited themselves in the second 45' and will be encouraged by the performance.
With the win tonight, Madrid move within two points of FC Barcelona again. Barça face a tricky away day in Seville next Friday as Zidane's men welcome Valencia a day earlier.
Casemiro again takes out Cristoforo and is lucky to escape a card which would see dismissal fo the Brazilian.
Pedro Leon really has looked for Eibar with the veteran creating acres of space on the right flank and a source of danger with his trusty right foot.
Eibar change as Burgos comes on for Arbilla
Valverde on for Madrid with Madrid making way
Next up for Real Madrid sees Los Blancos face Valencia on Thursday with Eibar facing Athletic.
Into the final ten we go.... Far from impressive from Real Madrid in the second half after totally bossing the first 45'.
Eibar boss Mendilibar carded for complaining.
Courtois' agony as the ball squirms into the Real Madrid net.
Eibar change: Inui on / De Blasis off
Madrid still ahead in terms of possession:
Water break time
Marcelo now wearing the captains armband seems to have overcome the earlier muscular scare. Eibar still press as Inui looks set for an appearance.
Casemiro lucky to avoid another yellow card there as Eibar win another dangerous free kick but Olivera fails to get his header on target.
Zidane looking a slightly more anxious figure on the sideline as he sees how Eibar have come back into this game after being down and out at the interval.
Eibar very much on top now as Pedro Leon drives a wicked ball across the face of the Real Madrid goal but no-one in red and blue on hand to latch onto the delivery.
Eibar looking so much better too with the changes. Pedro Leon and Enrich offering two outlets with Kike a virtual spectator in the first 45'.
The club doctor tells Zidane to wait before making a change so better news for the Brazilian.
Trouble for Madrid as Marcelo pulls up .... looking bad for the Brazilian with what initially appears as a muscular problem.
Less than an hour to go. Another goal for the visitors really could deliver a jolt for the home side. Eibar a different proposition in this second half.
Zidane makes a raft of changes for his Madrid side:
Off: Ramos, Hazard, Rodrygo / On: Miltao, Vinicius & Bale
The Eibar goal being VAR checked but it stands with Bigas the scorer, the ball ricocheting off the No. 3's back.
Gooooooool. Eibar score... a wicked defection as the ball trickles through Courtois' legs.
Changes for Eibar:
Enrich on / Kike off
Bigas on / Soares off
Leon on / Orellana off
Kike Garcia looks to be one of the players to make way with the striker having a discreet evening as Courtois is forced to save well.
Eibar poised to make some changes with two men in red and blue set to enter the fray.
Don't forget that teams can now make up to five substitutes with the new regulations. Asensio that player I imagine all Madrid fans are keen to see in action tonight.
Plenty of noise being generated from the CGI fans at Valdebebas! Real Madrid showing no signs of adaptation problems with the Alfredo di Stefano pitch.
Gareth Bale looks on at the action at Valdebebas. Will we see the Welsh striker in action tonight ?
Madrid subs (including Bale and Vinicius warming up on the sideline) as Eibar win a dangerous free kick and Orellana overhits .... poor so far from the Chilean tonight who is expected to leave the Basque side this summer.
Casemiro carded for a late challenge. The Brazilian the first man in the book tonight.
No word on the nature of the change .... Carvajal seemed fine fitness-wise so it could be Zidane looking to rest the right back.
Off we go....
Carvajal off with Mendy a change at the break
Eibar fans resigned to their fate at the break pointing to match-days 35,36 & 37 (v Leganes, Espanyol & Valladolid) as the games that will ultimately shape their season and potentially dictate in which division they play in next season.
One way traffic so far at the Alfredo di Stefano. Toni Kroos firing Madrid into an early lead with Ramos and Marcelo adding to the tally. Benzema and Hazard impressing but the visitors have failed to impress with Courtois enjoying a placid evening after 45'. Eibar need an early goal to reignite the game as a contest but everything points to the Serbian stopper Dimitrovic being the busier of the goalkeepers in the second half.
The whistle sounds for the break just as Rodrygo almost makes it 4-0 but forces Dimotrivoc to save well.
We'll have two minutes of time added on here at Valdebebas.
Hazard and Benzema have looked very good tonight linking up well. Zero rustiness from the Belgian after returning from the ankle injury in February and subsequent March operation in the US.
Eibar really need a goal before the break to offer a vague lifeline for the Basque side, but in truth another goal in the Eibar net does feel closer than the Basque men getting on the scoreboard.
The comfortable result does afford Zidane a chance to give Asensio some playing time in the second half as next rivals Valencia destined to offer a sterner test next Thursday.
Barça laid down a marker with a solid 0-4 win over lowly Mallorca last night with Real Madrid endeavouring to impress in the same manner. Eibar look so porous at the back and Madrid look like scoring on every venture forward.
Gooooooooool......Marcelo makes it 3..... The Brazilian driving the ball into the corner of the net with his trusty left peg. Far too easy for the home side.
Courtois finally called into action but a tame shot poses no problem for the Belgian stopper with Eibar really under the kosh here.
The water break taking place and a chance for Mendilibar to take his men to task, the veteran coach clearly unhappy with his side as Madrid sliced through the Eibar defence with great ease.
Great build up play from the home side as Eibar are caught pushing up and out of position, Fine link up between Benzema, Hazard and ultimately Ramos who taps home ....easy for Zidane's men.
Courtois a virtual spectator with Eibar yet to test the Belgian stopper as we move towards the 30 min mark and water break.
ZZ looks on pensively as his side lead SD Eibar 1-0.
Real Madrid starting to impose their authority on the game now as they move the ball from side to side with the men in red and blue chasing shadows.
Stat attack as we move into the 23rd minute. The home side dominating possession 60/40%
Canned applause rings out (as it now does during all LaLiga matches) on the 20th minute to pay tribute to the sanitary workers who were on the front line during the pandemic.
Postage stamp finish from Toni Kroos.
The game lacking the intensity with both sides easing their way back from a three month absence. Both Eibar and Madrid fell 2-1 in their games ahead of the Covid-19 enforced hiatus. Madrid falling to Betis and Mendilibar's side losing at home to neighbours Real Sociedad.
Eibar will look to the wizardry of Fabian Orellana tonight as the Chilean wins a free kick in a dangerous area for 'Los Armeros'. The No. 14 himself takes the kick and the ball falls to Garcia who loops the ball over the ball. Danger from Eibar as we move to the 15th minute of the action.
Despite the early goal, the game has yet to find any rhythm with niggly fouls (particulary from Eibar) interrupting the pattern of the action.
Hazard takes a knock with a rash challenge from Cristoforo. Some blood on the Belgian's knee but he seems okay to continue.
A perfect start for Real Madrid with the goal easing any potential restart nerves and the task of trying to get something for Eibar made that bit harder with the Kroos strike. A long evening ahead for lone Eibar striker Kike Garcia.
How will Madrid deal with their new environment ? Will Eibar favour playing at the smaller ground which is more akin to their compact Ipurua stadium ? Plenty of questions ahead and all will be revealed in the next 90 minutes.
Off we go in Valdebebas ...
A minute of silence pre-game to remember those who have passed away during the Covid-19 pandemic with Spain badly impacted by the virus.
An excellent evening for football on the outskirts of the Spanish capital: (26 C / 77F) and with the new regulations, we'll have a water break on both 30th and 75th minutes of the action.
Tonight's match official is Cuadra Fernendez from the Balearic Islands.
The players are in the tunnel with kick-off looming.... Real Madrid take to the pitch first and then followed by the Basque men.
Real Madrid start as strong favourites for tonight's game with a win for Eibar paying out at 13/1. The Basque side have never beaten Madrid in the Spanish capital. A draw pays at 7/1 and a home win at 1.2 per euro deposited.
Real Madrid too wearing their classic all white kit.
The visitors tonight playing in their iconic 'azul-grana' kit with blue shorts and socks.
No starting place in the Eibar XI for Diop or Japanese international Take Innui. Mendilibar opting to start with the physical presence of Kike Garcia as a lone striking option.
- 1 Dmitrovic
- 20 Rober
- 12 Paulo Oliveira
- 11 Luís Rafael
- 23 Arbilla
- 16 Pablo De Blasis
- 10 Edu Expósito
- 6 Sergio Álvarez
- 14 Orellana
- 18 Cristóforo
- 17 Kike García
- 13 Courtois
- 12 Marcelo
- 5 Varane
- 2 Carvajal
- 4 Sergio Ramos
- 8 Kroos
- 10 Modric
- 14 Casemiro
- 7 Hazard
- 9 Benzema
- 27 Rodrygo
Looking at the Real Madrid team tonight, only one surprise with Brazilian Rodrygo starting ahead of Gareth Bale with the Welshman on the bench. It's also widely expected that we'll see Marco Asensio secure some playing time with the Mallorcan born now fully recovered from his ACL tear which he sustained in a pre-season friendly last summer against Arsenal.
The TV camera crews are in place with less than 20' ahead of kick-off.
Real Madrid Zidane racks up game #200 on the bench as head coach. Despite glory in the Champions League with 'Los Blancos' is his side on the wane?
Eibar too have enjoyed an indifferent run of results before the Covid-19 pandemic put a halt to LaLiga action. Here are results of the last five games for the Basque side.
Real Madrid come into the game after a mixed bag of results (which all seem so long ago). A solid win over Barcelona was blotted a week later with defeat to Real Betis.
The pitch at the Alfredo di Stefano looking immaculate with just over 30 minutes to go until the LaLiga action for Zidane's men resumes.
Eibar too desperately need points as they languish just above the drop zone in 16th place with the Basque side anxious to maintain their run in the Spanish top flight
Real Madrid need to win and maintain pressure at the top if the league table with Barcelona impressing last night in Palma as they demolished Mallorca 0-4 to open a 5 point gap at the summit of the table.
Real Madrid vs SD Eibar: welcome
Hello and a very warm welcome to our live coverage of tonight's action from Valdebebas as Real Madrid face Eibar with both sides coming into the game with very different objectives.