Real Madrid vs Celta Vigo summary: score, goals, highlights | LaLiga
Real Madrid 2-0 Celta Vigo: as it happened
Full time: Real Madrid 2-0 Celta Vigo
A comfortable win for Real Madrid in the end but a performance which will not live long in the memory, as proved by Carlo Ancelotti’s agitation on the touchline. Los Blancos were nowhere near their best and created very few clear-cut chances but did enough to claim maximum points agains Celta.
The visitors will have been pleased with the first quarter of the game, in which Madrid barely threatened. Even when they did crank up the pressure, Celta keeper Iván Villar wasn’t tested, although it only took one moment of magic – a superb through-ball from Dani Ceballos – to allow Madrid to break the deadlock as Vinicius got in behind for the first time and teed up Asensio just before half-time.
Within minutes of the restart, it was 2-0 and, arguably, game over. Asnesio’s hanging corner found Militão, who had soared above everyone and powerfully headed home. Madrid’s attacking play was off-colour for the remainder of the half, with Benzema struggling to link up with Vinicius, who was kept relatively quiet and was unable to play the right final ball when he did find some space.
Villar made just one save, from a Benzema header, although Celta struggled to take advantage of their opponents’ off-night. Aspas had one big chance to halve the deficit with 15 minutes to go, but took the wrong option in trying to go round Courtois, who saved.
That was that for the visitors and Madrid march on, although nobody will have been especially impressed with their display, including Ancelotti, it appeared.
More LaLiga action tomorrow!
We'll have more reaction to Real Madrid's victory across AS USA in the coming hours. For now, I'll leave with a reminder that we'll also have live coverage of that Barcelona-Atlético Madrid clash tomorrow, which should be a cracker.
Joe will be taking you through that one, so be sure to join him at Camp Nou. Kick-off is at 10:15 a.m. ET; what better way to start a Sunday morning?
While Benzema and Vinicius flattered to deceive, which is very unlike them, to be fair, Asensio again did the business.
How's that new contract coming along?
Celta miss the chance to break into the top 10
I mentioned before the game that Celta had been in good form and that maybe they'd be dreaming of challenging for a Europa League spot. On reflection, that's probably a bit far-fetched. They've now lost two games in a row and are eight points clear of the relegation zone. That should be enough with eight games left, but they could probably do with another win or two just to make sure.
Real Madrid now eight points behind Barcelona
The win moves Madrid to within eight points of LaLiga leaders Barcelona, who face in-form Atlético Madrid tomorrow.
Is there any hope for Carlo Ancelotti's side?
Camavinga: Madrid's standout player?
Eduardo Camavinga pulled off some lovely touches in the opening minutes, which set the tone for his performance. An excellent showing from the Frenchman, who seems to have got used to his new left-back role already.
It's taken until 93 minutes to see what you might call 'typical' Benzema link-up play, although it came to nothing. The Frenchman has been very quiet.
A chance for Celta to get the ball into the danger area from a free kick. Aspas floats one in and finds Núñez, who heads well wide.
Five added minutes to be played.
Another promising moment for Aspas, who tries to get the ball across goal with his weaker right foot but can only send it into the arms of Courtois.
Definitely contagious. Benzema lays the ball off for Vázquez, who takes a touch and lashes high into the stand.
The wastefulness must be contagious today. Camavinga does brilliantly to slip in the newly-incorporated Rodrygo, who bursts into the box but fires the ball too hard across the face of goal, with no one able to make up ground to get on the end of it.
I've rarely seen Ancelotti this animated. Another wayward pass, this time from Tchouaméni, really got his goat there.
A bit of tape will hold Paciencia's nose together until full time. We're back underway.
Celta striker Paciencia is a very handsome chap and will not appreciate having his nose bust open by Tchouaméni smashing into him. A little break in play.
10 minutes of Modric is better than 90 of many others. Rodrygo is also on, with Vinicius and Ceballos making way.
Kevin Vázquez has defended really well against Vinicius but he's off. Medrano takes his place.
And another chance quickly comes for Celta, with Paciencia heading over at the back post.
Huge chance for Aspas!
What did I say about it not being Aspas' day? The attacker is played clean through on goal and decides to go round Courtois, who reads his intentions and makes a superb save down low.
First Madrid change. Lucas Vázquez on for Asensio.
Vinicius' latest attempt to terrorise Vázquez looks to have got him some space to cross but the defender sticks a leg out and blocks the ball, not for the first time.
Swedberg almost makes an immediate impact, playing a neat ball through for Aspas, who clips the ball up looking for Paciencia...but it's nowhere near him. Not Aspas' day.
Another Celta change. Left-back Galán goes off to be replaced by Swedberg.
Ancelotti looking agitated on the touchline as a pass goes astray in midfield. Not for the first time in this game...
A huge ovation for Luka Modric as he begins warming up. What a player.
A decent spell of possession for Celta, who have spent much of the last few minutes inside the Madrid half. De la Torre shoots from range but drags it well wide and boss Carlos Carvalhal isn't best pleased...
Better from Vinicius, who turns the Celta defence inside out and fires the ball across goal. Villar claims at the second attempt.
I'm going to insist with the idea that Real Madrid have not really been at it. And that last move proves it. Normally, when you lost possession in your own half against them, you're punished, or at least your goalkeeper has to make a save. This time, Vinicius and Benzema are two against two but the Brazilian overhits his pass to his teammate, who isn't impressed.
Veiga's night is over, as is that of Seferoviç. Paciencia and Óscar Rodriguez come on.
First save from Villar...
It's been a quiet night for Villar in the Celta goal despite the scoreline. That's his first save and it's a really good one from a Benzema header after Vinicius had raced towards the goal line.
Aspas has been a superb player for Celta for a number of years, but pace has never been one of his main strengths. He has a huge head start on Camavinga as he looks to get clean through on goal, but the Frenchman eats up the ground and picks his pocket with time to spare.
Tapia has done really well for Celta, making a number of crucial interceptions. Another one there to stop Vinicius getting away down the left.
Ahhhhh...almost for Celta! Galán slings a high cross to the box post, Veiga crosses first-time on the volley and it just deflects away from the waiting Seferović.
There's Aspas...oh dear! Miles over the bar from the edge of the box.
I gave Veiga the big build-up earlier and he's done some good things in the Celta midfield but the ball has got away from him a couple of times in the Madrid box, which has prevented his team from threatening the opposition goal.
We all know Asensio is capable of some incredible strikes but not even he can legislate for potholes in the Santiago Bernabéu turf just when he's away to shoot. That was a flop shot there (one for you golf fans).
We've barely seen Aspas since the opening minutes but he had the chance to get a shot away there, only to be snuffed out by Militão, who is suddenly everywhere.
What now for Celta? It's not looking good. And Real Madrid haven't even played well...
GOOOOOOOAAAAAAL REAL MADRID! MILITÃO
As simple as you like. Asensio's corner, Militão's header!
A bright start from the visitors, as Veiga breaks into the box but is penalised for a foul just when it looked as if he might be able to pick out Aspas or Seferović in the box.
Real Madrid get us underway
Is there any way back for Celta?
Cervi on for Solari in a half-time change for Celta.
Teams on their way out
Almost time to get going again.
Asensio: super sub?
That 41st-minute strike was Asensio's eighth in 2023. Not bad for a man who's normally a substitute.
A super sub, but not today.
Vinicius: "How can I assist you?"
Eight assists in LaLiga this season for Vinicius, the joint-most with Real Sociedad's Mikel Merino, and 17 across all competitions, more than any player in Spanish soccer.
Asensio makes the breakthrough
And here's (not quite conclusive) proof of that fatal deflection (it might have been going in anyway, to be honest).
Half time: Real Madrid 1-0 Celta Vigo
Asensio's goal the difference at the break!
As I mentioned, Celta Vigo will have been pretty pleased with how the opening 20 minutes of the game went. They didn’t force Courtois into a single save, but they had a few moments of promise in attack, kept Vinicius and Benzema quiet and never looked like conceding.
It was a funny kind of half thereafter, with Madrid stepping things up fairly significantly and putting their opponents under considerable pressure, yet they didn’t really create anything of note in front of goal until the made the breakthrough.
For the only time in the game so far, Vinicius got in behind the Celta defence after a superb Ceballos through-ball and teed up Asensio, whose deflected strike nestled in the corner of the net.
A free-kick to Celta as a result of that Ceballos foul. Veiga lines it up from VERY long-range and fires it VERY far over the bar.
Ceballos is the first Madrid player in the book for clipping Veiga in midfield.
One minute of injury time.
Madrid look to be going in for the kill here. It wouldn't surprise me if they got a second before half time...
GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAL REAL MADRID! ASENSIO!
What did I say about respite?
Vinicius gets behind the Celta defence for the first time, cuts it back for Asensio, whose deflected strike flies into the net.
A bit of despite for Celta for a few minutes, which they'll be thankful for. Still, for all of Madrid's pressure, Villar hasn't had a save to make.
A rare break forward from Celta and Javi Galán sticks a decent cross into the box but Seferović is the only target and it sails over his head.
Asensio swings in a corner, Rüdiger gets his head to it but doesn't get a good contact on it and it bounces past the post.
They've not had much joy in attack since I said they would be happy with their start, but Celta have defended pretty well against Vinicius and Benzema, who are not having their usual joy in the final third.
Absolutely superb wing play from...Nacho(?!), who makes space for a brilliantly cross, which is slightly too high for Vinicius, who gets a touch on it but can only divert it away from goal.
It was Benzema. And if you're read my previous post, you won't be surprised to hear it hit the wall.
Another free-kick in a VERY dangerous position for Real Madrid. Vinicius drives at the Celta defence and it judged to have been pushed over. Benzema or Asensio to take...
It's definitely not been Benzema's night so far. Camavinga finds him 16 yards out, in a position we've seen him score from so many times. Too many touches, including a loose one, allow Celta to clear.
Asensio curls a free-kick into the box and it's only just too high for Benzema, who was lurking just a few yards out.
Very little happened in the first 20 minutes, now it's action-packed!
First, Ceballos picks the wrong option in the final third, shooting well wide when he had teammates in space on either side.
Then, seconds later, Asensio's lovely flick inside finds Nacho, who drifts infield and curls one a yard or so over the bar.
Oooooooh, that was nasty from Solari, who trod on Vinicius' toes at least a second after the ball was gone. That must've hurt. A foul but no yellow.
After some fine play from Veiga, Aspas almost gets away down the right again but doesn't have the pace to get away from Camavinga. In any case, Seferović was offside in the build-up.
Madrid starting to crank this up a bit...a better effort from Asensio from the edge of the box is deflected just over Villar's crossbar.
Not the dream for Karim there. Benzema has a sight of goal from 25 yards and hits it...it's a lovely night in Madrid but even so, that one might have come down with snow on it.
Seconds later, Tchouaméni gets his head on a corner but gets it all wrong and it drifts well wide of the target.
Things are started to heat up. Vazquez booked for clattering into Ceballos. He's Vinicius' direct opponent...
Vinicius gets into a 'Vinicius position' and goes to take on Tapia, who does brilliantly to block the Brazilian's intended cross to Benzema.
Celta will be very happy with this start. Real Madrid haven't looked like scoring so far. I feel as if we've said this plenty of times before though and then...
By contrast, it's not quite clicking in the final third for Real Madrid. We've seen Benzema play in Vinicius about a thousand times this season but the same threaded passes into the winger's feet just aren't finding their target so far.
A lovely bit of link-up play on the edge of the Madrid box sees Seferovic play Aspas into a threatening position...offside called! A neat passing move for the visitors, that'll be encouraging for them.
It looked as it Fran Beltrán was going to line one up from really long-range there...but he turned it down. We'll never know.
The Brazilian goes on one of his runs down the left and it takes three Celta players to stop his progress as he looks to break into the box.
Who had nine minutes for the first time Vinicius was going to complain to the ref about being kicked/fouled/manhandled? Don't know what took him so long today...
Camavinga is still relatively new to the left-back position and he seemed to forget where was was there, trying to dribble past Solari on the outside even though he was already on the touchline. Oops.
An old-fashioned long ball from Militão - albeit a calculated one - almost sets Asensio away in the box but Tapia does well to get across to clear the danger.
A fairly even start, a few loose passes from both sides so far.
Celta look as if they're here to play out from the back whenever possible. I've seen a number of teams try to do that to Real Madrid this season and it's not ended well...
Let's see how they get on.
First effort from Celta!
It's not a great one but it was from a decent position. A poor kick-off from Courtois ends up with Veiga having a chance to shoot, but his strike goes harmlessly wide.
Camavinga looking in the mood with a Zidane-stye roulette and nutmeg within the space of five seconds. Then he gave the ball away, but let's forget about that bit.
Ceballos tries to set Vinicius away for the first time, good covering from Vázquez keeps the Brazilian at bay. You get the feeling he'll have to do plenty of that.
Underway at the Bernabéu!
Around four minutes late. Madrid did have a lot of hand cream to apply pre-match.
Hala Madrid rings round
You may well be familiar with 'Hala Madrid', Real Madrid's club anthem. Even if you're not a fan of the club, it's got hairs-standing-up-on-the-back-of-your-neck potential if you're in the ground.
Although that might just be the volume they blast it out at.
Minutes to go until kick-off
People often say going to the Bernabéu is like going to the theatre (for good and for bad) and the dramatic pre-match music certainly plays up to that. Players in the tunnel, almost time to go.
Celta Vigo team to play Real Madrid
And here's how Celta will line up at the Santiago Bernabéu:
Villar; Vázquez, Tapia, Núñez, Galán; Solari, Veiga, Beltrán, de la Torre; Aspas, Seferović.
- 13Iván Villar
- 14Renato Tapia
- 4Unai Núñez
- 20Kevin Vázquez
- 17Javi Galán
- 24Gabriel Veiga
- 21Augusto Solari
- 8Fran Beltrán
- 23Luca De La Torre
Real Madrid team to play Celta
Here's a little reminder of the Real Madrid team to take on Celta.
Courtois; Nacho, Militão, Rüdiger, Camavinga; Valverde, Tchouaméni, Ceballos; Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius.
- 3Eder Militao
- 19Dani Ceballos
- 18Aurelien Tchouameni
- 15Federico Valverde
- 11Marco Asensio
- 20Vinicius Junior
Watch out for Celta's Gabri Veiga. I mentioned earlier how he had taken LaLiga by storm this season and that hasn't gone unnoticed. Real Madrid, funnily enough, are one club reportedly interested in adding them to their ranks, but they are far from being the only one.
Real Madrid vs Celta Vigo: last five meetings
Let's be frank. Celta probably won’t be relishing this trip to Estadio Santiago Bernabeú. They haven’t won any of their last 13 matches against Real Madrid, losing nine of the last 10. Their last league win away to Los Blancos came in November 2006, although they did win in the Spanish capital in the Copa del Rey in January 2017.
Here are the last five meetings between the teams:
August 2022: Celta Vigo 1-4 Real Madrid, LaLiga
April 2022: Celta Vigo 1-2 Real Madrid, LaLiga
September 2021: Real Madrid 5-2 Celta Vigo, LaLiga
March 2021: Celta Vigo 1-3 Real Madrid, LaLiga
January 2021: Real Madrid 2-0 Celta Vigo, LaLiga
One man who has already extended his deal with the club is striker and skipper Karim Benzema, courtesy of the 'Ballon d'Or clause'. "What's that?" I hear you ask. Glad you did. Here's more.
Kroos and Modric are also out of contract in the summer but appear likely to stay on. There appears to be greater doubt over whether squad players Marco Asensio and Nacho will sign new deals, however.
With no Modric and no Kroos, that means a start in midfield for Dani Ceballos. A few months ago, it looked for all the world as if the ex-Betis man was on his way out of the club. But he's somehow managed to force his way back in and made 12 starts, impressing enough to be offered a new contract. Madrid aren't the only interested party though.
Here are more details.
The reason that Modric and Kroos are not playing is partly down to that 'experience' and partly down to the fact that Real Madrid have lots of games to play in quick succession between now and the end of the season. That includes the first leg of the Champions League semi-final against Manchester City less than 72 hours after the Copa del Rey final.
Needless to say, Ancelotti isn't happy.
"Everyone just thinks about what’s in their own best interests: LaLiga, the [Spanish] Federation, UEFA, FIFA...The players aren’t important to them and that’s not right. Something has to change, there are too many games".
Here's more from his pre-match press conference.
Modric and Kroos watch on from the Real Madrid bench
There are no places in the team for these two, however, as Carlo Ancelotti gives their ageing - or should we say 'experienced' - legs a little break. There are still no two midfielders you'd rather have in your side for a Champions League final, though, are there?
Vinicius starts for Real Madrid...as always
This man takes some stopping. Vinicius makes his 28th league start out of a possible 30 for Real Madrid against Celta. He's also played from the off in nine of their 10 Champions League games, four of their five Copa del Rey fixtures, both Spanish Super Cup matches and both Club World Cup games.
Incredible fitness and consistency.
Celta Vigo team to play Real Madrid
Here we go! This is how Celta will line up for the clash at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu.
Villar; Vázquez, Tapia, Núñez, Galán; Solari, Veiga, Beltrán, de la Torre; Aspas, Seferović.
No fewer than five players with accents on their name, which will be a real test during the game. Wish me luck.
Real Madrid as smooth as babies' bottoms
A sneak peak into the Real Madrid dressing room and it's incredibly reassuring to know that each player's hands will be as smooth as a baby's bottom for the duration of the 90 minutes. Thanks, Nivea.
Spare a thought for Thibaut Courtois, who will have smelly goalkeeper's gloves over the top of his immaculately cared for hands.
Celta Vigo: 2022-23 season so far
Celta Vigo find themselves in no-man’s land in mid-table, a position they’ll be grateful for considering it looked as if they could find themselves in relegation danger earlier in the season. A run of only one defeat in 10 LaLiga matches between the end of January and the second week of April saw them ease away from the bottom three. Could they even mount a late push for a Europa League spot? They are 11 points off sixth-placed Villarreal, so probably not.
Iago Aspas has excelled once again with 12 league goals so far, although he has arguably been upstaged by youngster Gabri Veiga, who has scored nine times from midfield.
Real Madrid: 2022-23 season so far
In the first few months of the season, Real Madrid looked strong favourites to retain their league title. Poor form either side of the World Cup break, however, cost them dearly and means that now have next to no chance of catching Barcelona, whose late Clásico victory on 19 March all but ensured the league trophy would be going back to Camp Nou.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men have even seen Atlético Madrid cut the gap significantly between second and third in the last few months and will be keen to fend off their city rivals, who are just two points behind them.
The season could still be a roaring success though, as they are through to the Champions League semi-finals, where they will take on Manchester City, and are odds-on favourites to win the Copa del Rey against Osasuna.
What would you give to be able to play on the hallowed turf at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu? Even just one kick of the ball...
If you've never been, a highly recommend a visit. A bucket-list stadium.
Celta Vigo's '21 warriors'
If you've ever followed a Real Madrid game with us, you'll be aware of Ancelotti's tendency to name the team far earlier than most other managers do. In rugby, for some reason, they often seem to name the team the day before...no idea why.
Anyway, Celta are more 'normal', which means we'll have to wait a little longer for their line-up. Here are their '21 warriors' for the clash, including reported Real Madrid target Gabri Veiga and club legend Iago Aspas.
Ancelotti names strong line-up
He's been complaining about fixture congestion in recent days but Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has put out a number of his big-hitters for this one, including Karim Benzema and Vinicius. No Toni Kroos or Luka Modric though, although both are on the bench.
A chance to shine again for Aurélien Tchouaméni and Dani Ceballos.
Real Madrid team to face Celta Vigo
Courtois; Nacho, Militão, Rüdiger, Camavinga; Valverde, Tchouaméni, Ceballos; Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius.
4-3-3 as usual for Madrid, thank you very much.
Of course, you may be looking for a way to watch the game, in which case, you are bang in luck. If you’re watching from the United States, there is a way and this is it!
You can watch Real Madrid vs Celta Vigo live stream on fuboTV (free trial available)
What time does Real Madrid vs Celta Vigo kick off?
Saturday’s clash gets underway at 9:00 pm local time in Spain, that’s 3:00 p.m. ET and 12:00 p.m. PT. Over the course of the next 90 minutes, I’ll be bringing you build-up, team news and plenty, plenty more. Are you ready? Let’s do this!
Hello and welcome to Real Madrid vs Celta Vigo!
It’s time for Real Madrid to return to action in their least favourite competition (this season, at least). They’ve been making headlines in the Champions League of late and will play the Copa del Rey final against Osasuna in a couple of weeks, but for now it’s back to LaLiga.
Thanks for joining me (Roddy) for Los Blancos’ clash with mid-table Celta Vigo, A win will see them move to within eight points of Barcelona, who play tomorrow. Even they couldn’t pull off this particular comeback, could they?