Real Madrid RMA
2
Benzema 72', 90'
Elche ELC
1
Daniel Calvo 60'
Completed

Real Madrid 2-1 Elche: result, summary, goals

AS English

COMMENT

Real Madrid 2-1 Elche: as it happened

Match report: Real Madrid 2-1 Elche

(Reuters) - Karim Benzema rescued Real Madrid once again by scoring two late goals to snatch a 2-1 win at home to Elche in La Liga on Saturday.

Elche took a shock lead just after the hour mark with a bullet header from Dani Calvo which crashed against the bar and over the line, after both sides had strong penalty claims waved away.

Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane threw midfield duo Toni Kroos and Luka Modric on immediately after the goal. The change paid off when Kroos played a short corner to Modric and the Croatian fed Benzema, who barely had to jump to head home in the 73rd minute.

Benzema, who last week struck late to grab a 1-1 draw away to leaders Atletico Madrid, then found the winner in stoppage time with a stunning strike just inside the area, lashing the ball first time in off the far post.

Benzema post-match: "They were very organised. It was difficult but with courage we did it and claim three very important points. We know that we need to keep winning. In the second half we played better and got the two goals."

FT: Real Madrid 2-1 Elche

Elche thought they had a point but Benzema strikes in the 91st minute to claim all three points.

Mendy almost makes it three but he's offside.

Madrid have won it right at the death. 

15 goals in LaLiga for Benzema.

92

What a goal! Benzema volleys home from the edge of the box and gives Badia no chance. Pure class.

Real Madrid 2-1 Elche

91

GOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL!!!!

BENZEMA!

89

NACHO SHOOTS!

Straight at Badia. 1-1

88

Elche's only plan now is to defend.

86

Elche changes:

OFF Raul Guti, Fidel

ON Josema, Gonzalez

86

Casemiro is playing as a centre forward!

Madrid can't afford to drop two points today, meanwhile Elche would take the point right now.

84

Elche are sitting on their 18-yard line now as Madrid look to grab a late winner.

83

Casemiro is everywhere! It should really be 2-1. The Brazilian heads over.

79

It's all square with 10+ minutes left of normal time.

78

MADRID CHANCE!

Fantastic play by Madrid. Intricate passing between the subs, who lay it on for Casemiro, his 20-yard shot from the edge of the box flies just wide.

Zidane

Zidane gives instructions to Valverde.

Photo: EFE

Today's goal was Benzema's 14th league goal of the season and 19th in all competitions.

No shift in tactics from Zidane - it's a like for like swap.

75

Madrid change:

ON Hazard

OFF Vinicius

75

Here comes Eden Hazard!

Benzema hangs in the air to power home a header from 6 yards.

Real Madrid 1-1 Elche

73

GOOOOAAAAAAAALLLL BENZEMA!!!

Elche are winning for the first time ever away to Real Madrid. Will they hold on?

71

Excellent cross from Rodrygo to the back post, Casemiro misses his intended header by inches. 

69

Kroos floats his free-kick to the back post, jumping onto it is Casemiro, his headers flies wide of the goal.

69

Carrillo takes out Benzema.

The hosts have suffered against weaker opposition this season at home: Cádiz, Levante and Alavés have all defeated Zidane's men at the Di Stéfano.

67

Corner Real Madrid!

Elche clear once again.

Madrid were just getting into their stride when Elche took the lead. 

Madrid have it all to do now, with 30 minutes to go.

Three changes for Madrid:

ON Modric, Kroos & Rodrygo

OFF Isco, Ramos & Valverde

Real Madrid 0-1 Elche

Calvo loses Varane and gives Courtois no chance - his second of the season!

Dani Calvo's thumping header puts Elche in front. Superb header that leaves Courtois with no chance.

61

GOOOAAAAAAAAAAAL ELCHE!!!

That really should have been 1-0 to Elche. Courtois is usually there when called upon. Super save.

59

Elche chance!

Huge chance for the away team - Courtois gets a big hand to Carrillo's shot inside the box.

58

It remains 0-0 at the Alfredo Di Stéfano. Madrid continue to push for the opener.

57

This could be a long second half for the away side, especially if Modric and Kroos come on.

55

It's all Madrid! This time Mendy heads over from a lovely Benzema cross from the right wing to the back stick.

53

Foul on Varane. Madrid free-kick in a dangerous location. Isco hits it. Ramos pleads for a penalty, but the ref says it's a free out. Ramos can't believe it. It did look like a foul on Ramos.

52

Another Real Madrid corner!

They've changed gears. Corner is sent to the back post. Elche clear. 

51

Modric, Kroos and Rodrygo are warming up for Madrid.

49

Corner Real Madrid!

The ball falls back to Mendy, who crosses to Benzema at the back post. The No 9 controls it superbly, spins and buries his effort into the side-netting.

47

Neither side has made any changes at the break.

46

And we're underway!

We're not expecting any changes from either side for the second half.

Real Madrid really need the three points here today if they are to stay in the LaLiga title race.

The players are in the tunnel.

Ramos

HT: Real Madrid 0-0 Elche

We're just moments away from the second half in Madrid.

Some halftime reading!

Ronaldo breaks silence amid Real Madrid return links

Cristiano Ronaldo has finally broken his silence with a post on Instagram, in which he emphasized that: “football has a memory… and so do I!”

Full story:

Madrid fail to break down Elche in the first half, a half that the away side have been very comfortable in.

possession
56.6% 43.4%
possession/5 minutes
  • 0
  • 15
  • 30
  • 45
  • 60
  • 75
  • 90
  • 90% 9%
  • 63% 37%
  • 46% 53%
  • 64% 35%
Yellow cards
0
0
red cards
0
0
fouls won
3
3
fouls commited
3
3
lost balls
39
36
ball recovered
17
16
offsides
1
0
penalties
0
0
goalkeeper interventions
0
1

HT: Real Madrid 0-0 Elche

There will be two added minutes.

46

Valverde whips a great cross into the box, Isco misses it and Elche clear the danger.

44

Modric and Kroos make them tick week in week out. Maybe we will see them in the second half if Madrid continue to struggle to find that decisive pass in the final third.

43

The big difference this afternoon is that Madrid are playing without Modric and Kroos. 

Fouls are easily found nowadays without fans in stadiums. The referees can hear every complaint, whereas before with the noisy stadiums it was a different story. Perhaps Benzema wouldn't have been booked before.

38

Benzema yellow for a push on an Elche player. The first booking of the game.

37

Barragán went down 15 minutes ago and tried to shake off his injury but he's finally left the field of play.

Elche change:

OFF Barragán

ON Cifuentes

34

Best chance of the game!

Vinicius picks out Benzema at the back post...the French striker puts his left-footed effort wide of the near post. 0-0

33

Lucas Vazquez kicks on at Raul Guti (the best name in LaLiga) and Elche earn themselves a free-kick.

Stats from the opening 30 minutes

possession
56.6% 43.4%
possession/5 minutes
  • 0
  • 15
  • 30
  • 45
  • 60
  • 75
  • 90
  • 90% 9%
  • 63% 37%
  • 46% 53%
  • 64% 35%
Yellow cards
0
0
red cards
0
0
fouls won
3
3
fouls commited
3
3
lost balls
39
36
ball recovered
17
16
offsides
1
0
penalties
0
0
goalkeeper interventions
0
1
30

Today's creativity is coming from Nacho and Isco for Madrid. Valverde has been really quiet thus far.

27

We have our first shot on target - coming from Isco.

Elche keeper Edgar Badia saves it with ease. The shot-stopper is into physics and astronomy!

He's still studying, even as a pro-footballer. Hats off to him!

26

The French striker told Isco to get closer to him. Elche will be delighted with their opening 25 minutes. 0-0

25

Benzema's body language suggests that the team need to move up the pitch. He's looking and feeling isolated. 

22

Free-kick to Madrid after a foul on Isco. The Malaga-born player gets yet another chance today to show what he can do.

Barragán is back on his feet after a strange looking fall. Good news for Fran Escriba.

Barragán is down for Elche. This may require a change.

18

Nacho is playing a free role today - the defender has been the creator of most of Madrid's moves so far. Ramos and Varane offering the protection at the back.

16

Elche have grown into the game in the last few minutes. Despite their lowly league position they have some quality players in their side. They do struggle in front of goal but possess quality in midfield. 

13

Nacho just scored the best goal of his career but it's been ruled out after a foul from Isco. He strikes it so sweetly into the top left corner from the edge of the box.

10

Mendy and Vazquez are operating as wing-backs and every time Madrid get the ball at the back with Nacho, Ramos or Varane, they look to play long diagonal balls into the channels.

9

Casemiro is down after a challenge by Carrillo. He gets up and dusts himself down.

The camera pans to the stand, where Modric and Kroos are having a nice chat. Today is their day off ahead of Atalanta during the week.

6

After some nice play by the home side, the ball falls to Varane 30 yards from goal...he blazes his effort high and wide.

5

Elche are sitting in their own half, it's been all Madrid in the opening five minutes.

Ramos' recovery from undergoing knee surgery has been hugely impressive, returning two weeks earlier than expected. 

Ramos gets his first touch!

This one is important for both sides but also for very different reasons as Madrid look to challenge for the title and Elche are aiming to hold onto their Primera status for another season.

2

Elche have set up with an early 4-4-2.

Real Madrid are playing from right to left as we watch it.

We're underway!

The teams are on the pitch - kick-off is just moments away!

Ramos

Sergio Ramos warms up ahead of his first game back after injury.

Ramos returns!

The big news for Madrid and Zidane this afternoon is the return of club captain Sergio Ramos as we approach the business end of the season. Ramos underwent surgery on a knee injury just over a month ago and wasn't expected back for another two weeks.

Zinedine Zidane appears to have one eye on his side's midweek Champions League game versus Atalanta going by today's starting XI.

Madrid get the blood flowing ahead of another important league fixture.

Ronaldo

Ronaldo return in Real Madrid’s hands

As AS has learned, the Juventus striker still closely follows news and developments from Madrid and is perfectly aware of the situation of current squad. He understands that it is a young squad but with a lot of potential and his presence would serve to address the issue of lack of goals at the club since his departure.

At 36, a return to Madrid would be a new incentive for him to maintain the maximum motivation necessary to prolong his career for a few more years. Even at his advanced age, his voracity for goals has not subsided; this season he has far managed 27 in 32 games for Juventus.

Cristiano's return would have a strong emotional impact on Real Madrid fans, who are longing for him to come back. The Portuguese star has one year of his contract left with Juventus, which is decisive for his return to be financially favourable for Madrid, as well as Juventus, who would be freed from paying his substantial salary.

Elche XI

We're just over 15 minutes away from kick-off in Madrid - here's a reminder of how both teams line out this afternoon.

Elche

We're just over 15 minutes away from kick-off in Madrid - here's a reminder of how both teams line out this afternoon.

Real Madrid

Real Madrid still love Cristiano – Zidane on possible Ronaldo return

Zinedine Zidane addressed the media ahead of Saturday's LaLiga clash against Elche and warned that his side will need to put in a top performance if they are to take all three points from the game.

During the press conference, Zidane refused to be drawn on rumours linking Cristiano Ronaldo with a return to the Bernabeu after his exit with Juventus in the last 16 of the Champions League this week to Porto.

"Everyone knows what Cristiano is to Madrid, what he's achieved here, what we think about him and everything he did here was magnificent," Zidane said.

"But right now he's a Juventus player and I can't say more than that. A lot of things have been said but we need to be respectful."

Real Madrid warm up on a gorgeous afternoon in the Spanish capital.

Elche 18th in LaLiga

Real Madrid have suffered a lot against so called weaker opposition at home this season: Cádiz, Levante and Alavés have defeated the current LaLiga champions at the Di Stéfano.

Zidane’s men are sitting third in the standings, with 54 points (16 wins, six draws and four defeats), two behind eternal rivals Barcelona and eight behind leaders Atlético.

Elche are currently 18th in the table on 24 points (with one game in hand), only two more than Eibar and Alavés, in the relegation zone, and four more than Huesca in last place.

Pts MP W D L
16 25 27 6 7 14
17 25 26 5 10 11
18 24 25 5 9 11
19 22 26 4 10 12
20 20 26 3 11 12

Juventus name their price to let Cristiano go

A possible return to the Santiago Bernabéu for Cristiano Ronaldo is gathering momentum, three years after the Portuguese packed his bags leaving for Serie A side Juventus FC. 

Recent reports suggest that Real Madrid are receptive to the idea of a Ronaldo return after the Madeira born left frustrated midweek as once again the Turin-based outfit crashed out of the Champions League after Porto progressed on the away goal rule.

Full story:

Top of LaLiga:

Real Madrid currently sit third in the LaLiga standings, behind Barcelona and leaders Atlético Madrid.

Pts MP W D L
1 62 26 19 5 2
2 56 26 17 5 4
3 54 26 16 6 4
4 48 25 15 3 7
5 45 26 12 9 5
recent form
  • E
  • E
  • G
  • G
  • G
  • G
  • P
  • P
  • G
  • P

Elche starting XI to take on Real Madrid:

Cristiano Ronaldo wants Real Madrid return

Seeing Cristiano Ronaldo playing in the white of Real Madrid again has become a real possibility. According to a report by Spanish journalist Josep Pedrerol, and also to what AS has learned, discussions between the Portuguese star and Real Madrid about his return to the club have been ongoing for several months.

AS can also confirm that currently the 36-year-old striker’s greatest wish is to return to the Santiago Bernabéu, where he enjoyed the happiest stage of his career, winning four Champions League titles and four Ballon d’Or trophies, and becoming the club’s greatest goalscorer in history, with 459 goals in 439 matches.

Read the full story:

Madrid's last three games:

Two 1-1 draws and an away win in Italy.

Elche's recent run:

- Impressive win over Sevilla & defeats to Granada and Barcelona.

Real Madrid announce their starting XI!

Courtois - Nacho, Ramos, Varane, Mendy - Casemiro, Valverde, Isco - Lucas V, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.

Zidane on Hazard: "He had never had a long injury before coming to Madrid"

"I see him 100 per cent physically and emotionally well," said the Frenchman. "He has overcome the injuries and discomfort he may have had.

The Madrid boss dismissed concerns that the catalogue of injuries suffered by Hazard could have a similarly debilitating impact as Gareth Bale's woes had over recent seasons.

"Eden has had his discomfort, it's true. He had never had a long injury before coming to Madrid," he added.

"Now here he had a lot of discomfort. But he has a long player and when he gets well, Damn, he is going to have an impressive performance.

"I speak to the fans: when a player is not at 100 per cent it is complicated, but he is going to do very well here."

Ramos

Ramos and Hazard included in Real Madrid squad to face Elche

Sergio Ramos and Eden Hazard have been named in Real Madrid's 20-man squad to face Elche.

Club captain Ramos, who is out of contract at the end of the season, has not played since suffering meniscus damage in January.

Hazard has endured an injury-plagued existence since joining Madrid from Chelsea for €100million before the start of last season, with a problem in his left thigh serving as the Belgium attacker's latest setback.

Asked at a pre-match media conference whether each man was ready to play a part against Elche, Zidane replied: "Yes, of course. And we are very happy. Our idea is that they have minutes."

Real Madrid vs Elche: how and where to watch

All the information you need to know on how and where to watch Real Madrid host Elche at Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano, Madrid on 13 March at 16:15 CET.

Real Madrid vs Elche live: welcome

Hello and welcome to AS English's live coverage of this LaLiga fixture as Real Madrid host Elche at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano. Kick-off is at 16:15 CET.  

.