Maligned Wales forward Gareth Bale was a shock starter when 10-man Real Madrid produced a gritty 3-1 win at Celta Vigo to open up their 2019/20 La Liga campaign in impressive fashion.
The object of head coach Zinedine Zidane’s ire benefited from Eden Hazard’s pre-match injury to surprisingly start at probable relegation candidates. His expert dribbling teed up striker Karim Benzema’s predatory 12th-minute opener.
The video-assistant referee would then rule out a Celta equaliser and send off visiting Croatia midfielder Luka Modric either side of half-time. But Toni Kroos’ rocket and substitute Lucas Vazquez’s well-worked one-on-one made the game safe, a day after champions Barcelona’s 1-0 loss at Athletic Bilbao.
A fantastic solo effort from 18-year-old Iker Losada in injury time, which found the bottom corner, then came far too late for Celta.