Toni Kroos grabs late winner for Real Madrid to deny Celta Vigo
La Liga, Estadio Bernabeu - Real Madrid 2 (Morata 61, Kroos 81) Celta Vigo 1 (Orellana 67)
A fine late strike by Toni Kroos gave Real Madrid a slender victory over Celta Vigo, as Alvaro Morata got off the mark following his return to the Bernabeu.
The first opening was eventually crafted by Luka Modric, the best player in the first half, whose run and shot cannoned back off the bar.
Real Madrid upped the tempo after the break and Gareth Bale also brushed the bar, this time with a free-kick that goalkeeper Sergio brushed onto the top of the frame.
Los Blancos eventually made the breakthrough just after the hour when Alvaro Morata pounced on a rebound after Sergio had put his team in trouble with a poor clearance.
But just as Real seemed to have control of the contest, a lapse in concentration at the back by Sergio Ramos allowed Orellana the space to find the bottom corner from 25 yards, setting up a big finale.
Morata thought he’d put his side back in front when his shot rebounded off the post, before Kroos found the net with an assured finish from the edge of the box, punishing a huge missed opportunity moments before for Celta Vigo, who spurned a three-on-one chance on the counter-attack.
James Rodriguez, a second-half substitute, was lively when he came on, and should have been awarded a penalty when he was tripped in the box – but it mattered for little in the end as Zinedine Zidane’s side, as unconvincing as they were, took the points..
Can James Rodriguez find a way back into the fold? The Colombian certainly did his hopes of remaining at the Bernabeu no harm with his second-half cameo performance here. He had a hand in the winning goal, showing tenacity and strength to win the ball, and should have been given a penalty. If Zinedine Zidane needed a reminder of his quality, he certainly provided it, but money talks in this business and if the likes of Arsenal or Chelsea stump up the cash in the next few days, this may still have been his last contribution in a Real Madrid shirt.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid). Came to life in the second half, showing his predatory instincts in the box to seize on the loose ball and put Real Madrid ahead. Was unlucky to see a subsequent effort come back off the post and showed a great attitude throughout. A deadly striker who will lead the line for Real this season, and there are signs his understanding with Bale, Kroos and Modric is already growing.
24’ BONGONDA CHANCE! Oh, what a chance for Celta Vigo... The Real Madrid defence simply dissolves as Bongonda drives forward, but he makes a complete mess of his shot, slicing well wide into the side-netting.
29’ OFF THE BAR! A brilliant drop of the shoulder by Modric to evade Pablo Hernandez's challenge before the Croatian unleashes a stunning shot that crashes back off the upright.
56’ BALE GOES CLOSE! Bale dusts himself down and hammers the free-kick over the wall and keeper Sergio's fingertips sees the ball brush the top of the bar.
60’ GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Celta Vigo: Morata scores! The striker has his first goal since returning to Los Blancos. Modric seizes on a terrible clearance by goalkeeper Sergio and picks out Asensio, whose shot is saved but Morata fires in the rebound.
65’ MORATA OFF THE POST! Oh, so unlucky! Kroos picks out Morata with a delicious pass and the striker does everything right but sees his stabbed shot come back off the far post. That's the third time Real have hit the frame tonight.
67’ GOAL! Real Madrid 1-1 Celta Vigo - Orellana has scored! How about this? Jonny finds Guidetti, Sergio Ramos gets sucked into the middle allowing space for Orellana to let fly from 20 yards, beating Casilla low to his right. Game on!
72’ PENALTY? How has the referee not given a penalty? Morata finds James in the box and the substitute is clearly tripped - but nothing given. Unbelievable.
80’ WHAT A WASTE! Papa Cheikh had a massive chance on the counter-attack but he delayed his pass too long and then couldn't pick out his teammate when he finally did. It was 3 against 1!
81’ GOAL! Real Madrid 2-1 Celta Vigo - Kroos scores! James Rodriguez wins the ball and finds Lucas, who cuts it back to the German, who passes it into the bottom corner, and the ball goes in off the post. Oh, how Real have made Celta pay for that wasted opportunity a few moments before.
Alvaro Morata has scored his second Liga debut goal for Real Madrid.
Real Madrid have now won nine of their last ten league games at the Bernabeu with Zidane in charge (L1, 0-1 against Atletico).