Madrid: Tony Kroos’ 81st minute goal gave Real Madrid a narrow 2-1 win over a Celta Vigo which came very close to causing an upset.
Fans, who were expecting Madrid to overrun their rivals, were surprised over a tight first half when they struggled to break down a well-organised Celta defence, which denied Gareth Bale and Alvaro Morata space to run in on Saturday, reported Xinhua news agency.
Madrid’s best chances came through shots from Luka Modric, who hit the post from 30 yards and then drew a flying save from Sergio Alvarez in the visitors’ goal.
The second half began with Celta taking the game to Madrid although neither Daniel Wass nor Fabian Orellana was able to apply a finishing touch as the ball bounced around the area.
Madrid reacted well and Alvarez tipped a Bale free kick onto the bar, but he blotted his copybook with the error which led to Morata putting Madrid ahead.
Alvarez sent a clearance straight to Luka Modric, who stepped forward and passed to Marcos Asensio. Although Alvarez saved his effort, Morata was on hand to slam the ball into the net on the hour.
Madrid could have been expected to kill the game off but a defensive lapse allowed John Guidetti to feed Orellana, who beat Casilla with a dipping shot.
Suddenly Madrid had work to do and began to pin Celta back. Alvarez parried a Bale header with 10 minutes remaining but could do nothing to deny Kroos, who scored a low shot from 25 yards to ensure the points remained at home.