Alavés 1-4 Real Madrid summary: score, goals, highlights | LaLiga 2021-22
Alavés 1-4 Real Madrid: as it happened
Karim Benzema led Real Madrid to a 4-1 victory capped by a Vinicius goal to get Carlo Ancelotti off to a winning start on his return to the club. Nacho also added a spectacular effort from a Luka Modric assist on an evening of largely good news for the Italian schemer.
Gareth Bale was reinstalled to the starting line-up after a season on loan at Tottenham and did enough to suggest that could become a regular occurrence on Ancelotti's watch while Eden Hazard was considerably more involved than in many of his performances last season, his vision teeing up Benzema for the opener and his long-standing ankle injury apparently no longer a hindrance.
Modric was once again the midfield fulcrum while Fede Valverde's box-to-box display gave Madrid depth they often lacked during the final days of Zidane. New signing David Alaba took to his role at the back as though he has been playing with his teammates for years and the only blemish on the evening was a horribly undercooked back pass from Éder Militão that resulted in Thibaut Courtois conceding a penalty.
However, the Brazilian has suddenly been thrust into the limelight after the departures of Sergio Ramos and Raphaël Varane and can be excused a one-off mistake with a lot of pressure suddenly resting on his shoulders.
And there's the whistle! Madrid run out 4-1 winners to get Carlo Ancelotti's second spell in the Bernabéu dugout off to a perfect start.
Alaba delivers a wonderful cross and the Brazilian nods home from close range to get off the mark for the season!
Vinicius charges down the left and forces Pacheco into a stop at his near post.
Three minutes added.
Isco, Asensio and Jovic on for Madrid, Modric, Benzema and Valverde off.
Decent attack from Alavés but it fizzles out as an attempted cross clears the area.
Valverde fancies a goal this evening but another effort from distance goes into the top of the stands behind Pacheco's sticks.
Pina off for Alavés, former Atlético B midfielder Toni Moya on.
Vinicius! A wonderful run from the Brazilian who sends a ball fizzing across the face of goal. That only needed a touch but there were no white shirts to attack it.
Mamadou! Decent effort from the Senegalese midfielder, on loan from Porto, that Courtois controls after the second attempt.
Alavés almost carve out an opening but Pina's ball to Joselu is ignored by the striker as he realised he had drifted offside.
Corner for Madrid as Vinicius' ball for Rodrygo is cut out.
Three shots from Benzema, two goals.
Guidetti with the free kick but it's straight into the wall.
Militão penalized for handball, but the ball hit his chest there. Rare mistake from the ref, who has been solid this evening.
More changes. Facundo and Iván Martin on for Alavés, Rodrygo on for Madrid, Bale making way.
Hazard heads off and Vinicius is on for Madrid.
Gooooooool! Joselu sends Courtois the wrong way and slams it onto the opposite corner!
Penalty! Militão plays a horrible back pass to Courtois and he has little choice but to floor Guidetti!
Pacheco makes an excellent stop from the striker's defelcted shot but Benzema turns it back into the net from the rebound! Two for the Frenchman, three for Madrid.
Guidetti! Decent chance for the sub but he scuffs it into Courtois' paws.
Changes for Alavés. Pons and Manu García make way for Guidetti and Mamadou Loum.
Modric teases the ball into the area and Nacho shows a striker's touch to connect on the volley and guide it past Pacheco.
Bale and Duarte go up for an aerial challenge and the defender gets ther better of it. Corner for Madrid.
Bale into the book for a challenge on Joselu. The Welshman left his boot in as the Alavés forward struck the ball.
We might see Javi Calleja shuffle his deck before too long.
Back underway! No changes on either side at half time. Ancelotti looking very pensive on the Madrid bench.
And there's the whistle for the half! It remains sans goals at half time in Mendizorrotza.
Alaba tries his luck this time but it's well over the bar. One minute added.
Madrid will have another chance from a set piece as Valverde is chopped down about 30 yards out.
Rioja! What a run from the winger, who charges from the halfway line and manages to squeeze a shot through his three pursuers.
Aguirregabiria makes a fine intervention to prevent Bale swinging a boot at a ball into the area. Excellent defending from the full back.
Pons! Alavés break and the Spanish midfielder is unmarked at the far post but his attempt to turn the ball back across goal ends up on the roof of the net! What a chance for the home side.
It's on target from the Welshman but straight down Pacheco's throat, the keeper making a fairly routine stop.
Bale is sizing this one up...
Yellow for Manu García as he compensates for a woeful touch by scything Benzema down to prevent a break.
Valverde! That would have been quite a strike but his effort from 35 yards out flies over the bar.
Hazard! Lovely control from the Belgian and it's hacked away by Duarte for a corner.
Benzema! The Frenchman brings the ball under his thrall with a lovely touch, turns his marker and curls an effort just wide of Pacheco's far post.
Bale! A lovely cross from the Welshman looking for Benzema but Pacheco reads it well and gathers at the striker's feet.
Rioja claims a handball in the area as he tries to connect with the ball but the ref waves it away.
Free kick to the home side as Edgar is floored in midfield.
Nacho and Joselu in the wars again as the Madrid defender's boot shaves the Alavés forward's face but the ref rightly says there was nada in that and it's a throw.
Bale again, this time running across the face of goal and whipping a shot with the outside of his boot that flashes past the near post.
Bale tries his luck from distance but he doesn't really get hold of it and it's wide.
Hazard and Benzema combine in the area but the Belgian's attempted return ball hits a defender then him and rolls out for a goal kick.
Hazard! Madrid nick the ball in the Alavés half and Modric tees up the Belgian, whose shot curls just wide of the far post.
Bale unleashes a shot but the flag is up.
Alavés are not happy as Nacho goes up for a challenge with Joselu and wallops the Alavés forward with his elbow. The ref gives a free kick and leaves it at that.
Valverde and Hazard attempt to link up in the area but there's a lack of comms and it's out for a goal kick.
Rioja! The winger was a thorn in Madrid's side last season when Alavés beat Real 2-1 at the Di Stéfano and he drives towards goal and unleashes a shot that Courtois needs two attemps to gather.
Edgar gets up above Militão to plant his head on the ball but he got under it and it flies over. It's all Alavés at the moment.
And we're off! Alavés get us underway in Mendizorrotza!
Benzema's looking sharp at the Mendizorroza
The Real Madrid number nine has got his shooting boots on ahead of the new season and looks raring to go.
Around 4,000 fans in the stadium as supporters are gradually being allowed back into the football grounds this season. Those present give the two sides a huge ovation.
The teams are in the tunnel now. Bale sporting the number 18 this season.
Courtois pledges to "compete for all those trophies"
In a statment posted on his website in the build up to the opening week of La liga fixtures, Thibault Courtois has outline his objectives for the season and expressed his excitement at the prospect of being out in front of Real Madrid fans again after nearly 18 months away.
Bale and Hazard flank Benzema in attack
The two wideman are named in the first La Liga starting XI of Carlo Ancelotti's second spell as Los Blancos manager. Neither has been close to their best in recent years and have been dogged by injuries, but will look to use the introduction of a new coach to stake their claims for a regular startin berth.
Alavés starting XI confirmed
Javi Calleja has named his starting XI and Facundo and Hara start on the bench. Joselu and Edgar will lead the line in Mendizorrotza.
Real Madrid starting XI confirmed
Ancelotti has named his starting line-up and Bale will play from the outset alongside Hazard and Benzema. Militão and Alaba will partner in central defence with Nacho on the left and LUcas Vázquez on the right.
Alavés of course won this fixture last season with an excellent attacking display in the first half that Ancelotti has probably watched more than once in preparation for this evening's game.
Alavés on the other hand have been active in the market and have made a few eye-catching deals, not least the capture of Japanese striker Taichi Hara and the loan of Facundo Pellestri from Manchester United for a second season. With a bit of luck we'll get a first look at both of those promising talents this evening.
For a full run down of Madrid's summer dealings, look no further than our guide to the squad at Ancelotti's disposal and the possible new arrivals that may be brought in before the summer window closes.
Other than Alaba, Ancelotti has several loan returnees at his disposal. Chief mong these is Gareth Bale, who has impressed the Italian in training and featured in pre-season with a decent performance against Milan. Whether Bale will start is open to question but the Welshman will certainly get a fairer crack of the whip under Ancelotti than he did when Zidane was in charge.
There has been little in the way of transfer movement at the Bernabéu this summer. David Alaba is the only new face available for Ancelotti, who has of course lost former captain Sergio Ramos to PSG and hi erstwhile defensive partner Raphaël Varane to Manchester United. Alaba is likely to come straight in to the back line alongside Éder Militão in a new-look defence that Alavés will be keen to put to the test.
This will be Carlo Ancelotti's first competitive game in charge of Real Madrid since the Italian tactician's return to the Bernabéu to replace Zinedine Zidane. Madrid have not exactly been firing during pre-season with goals hard to come by and Alavés will provide a stern test for Ancelotti's side.
Alavés vs Real Madrid: welcome
Hello and welcome to AS English's live coverage of the week one LaLiga match between Deportivo Alavés and Real Madrid. Kick-off at the Mendizorrotza Stadium in Vitoria-Gasteiz is at 22:00 CEST.