David Alaba scored the winning goal as Real Madrid came back from a goal down to beat newly-promoted UD Almeria 2-1 in La Liga on Sunday.
Real Madrid survived an early scare in the defence of their La Liga title as they came back from behind to secure a hard-fought 2-1 win over UD Almeria at the Power Horse Stadium this past weekend.
Almeria, back in La Liga after seven years, had the full backing of their vociferous home support and riding on it, they opened the scoring just six minutes in through Largie Ramazani’s fine finish. Real Madrid were woken from their slumber after they fell behind and soon began to turn up the heat as the likes of Federico Valverde, Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior drew saves from the opposition goalkeeper.
Lucas Vazquez managed to find the back of the net close to half-time but his effort was chalked off for offside as Almeria went into the half-time break with the lead intact. Real Madrid continued to keep the pressure on their opponents after the break and it finally paid off as Vazquez managed to level things up in the 61st minute.
Buoyed by the equaliser, Real Madrid ramped up their efforts in search of a winning goal and found it in the 75th minute when substitute David Alaba scored from a wonderful free-kick with his first touch of the game. It was a hard-fought victory for Los Blancos, with Almeria’s Fernando Martinez making it difficult for them as he pulled off 13 saves on the night.
In the end, though, Carlo Ancelotti’s champions pulled through to start their La Liga campaign on a winning note. Here are our player ratings from the encounter at the Power Horse Stadium.
Real Madrid Player Ratings
Thibaut Courtois: 6/10
The Belgian international was easily beaten by Ramazani’s well-placed shot early in the game. He recovered from that point on and made a few decent stops, although most of them were straightforward.
Lucas Vazquez: 8/10
A lively presence from the right-back position, Vazquez made countless forward runs on the overlap, providing an added attacking presence for Real Madrid. He put the ball into the back of the net in the first half, only to be denied by a marginal offside call. He got his goal the second time around, though, with a neat finish that brought Madrid level.
Antonio Rudiger: 5/10
— Antonio Rüdiger (@ToniRuediger) August 15, 2022
A mixed full debut for Rudiger, who looked off sync with his teammates in the early exchanges. He ended up playing Ramazani onside and then could not keep up with him leading to the opening goal. Showed steady improvements as the game wore on, but the German international will need to do much better to keep Eder Militao and David Alaba out.
Nacho Fernandez: 5/10
Much like Rudiger, Nacho hardly looked comfortable in the early stages of the game, with Umar Sadiq causing him problems. While his partnership with the German needs work, the veteran defender was more assured in the latter stages.
Ferland Mendy: 4/10
Another misstep from the Frenchman who failed to offer anything of note going forward while he looked like a liability at times defensively against Almeria’s counter-attacks. At this rate, he could soon find himself out of the starting lineup.
Eduardo Camavinga: 5/10
Handed a start to prove himself and stake a claim for regular involvement, Camavinga failed to make the most of his chance on Sunday. The youngster lacked the composure needed and was booked for a foul on Sadiq in the 40th minute. Hooked off at half-time.
— Infinite Madrid (@InfiniteMadrid) August 14, 2022
Aurelien Tchouameni: 6/10
Making his full debut for Real Madrid and it showed as he lacked chemistry and understanding with some of his teammates. There were some positives, with his progressive passes catching the eye for one. However, he left too much of a gap behind him at times.
Toni Kroos: 6.5/10
The German international displayed his usual array of passes to create chances for his teammates although he was not always at the top of his game on the night. Dropped deeper in the second half which allowed him to control the proceedings better.
Federico Valverde: 8/10
One of the best Real Madrid players on the pitch, the Uruguayan midfielder carried the most attacking threat in the first half and seemed to have a personal battle with Fernando Martinez as he forced several saves from the Almeria goalkeeper. Valverde made four key passes and also made driving runs forward. Undroppable on this form.
— Real Madrid C.F. ???? (@realmadriden) August 14, 2022
Karim Benzema: 6.5/10
A quiet night considering his standards but Almeria did well to keep him at bay. Even then, Benzema managed to create several chances and had a hand in Vazquez’s equaliser while he also drew a couple of saves from Martinez.
Vinicius Junior: 7.5/10
The Brazilian was our player to watch for the game and he carried on from where he left off against Eintracht Frankfurt, with another game of fine wing-play. Even though Almeria defended well, Vinicius pushed and probed for an opening with his pace and movement. Played a part in Vazquez’s opener with a fine run and could have scored one or two goals himself.
Luka Modric: 7/10
Replaced Camavinga at half-time and added the element of calmness and composure that was missing in the first half. His introduction helped Real Madrid improve their control of the proceedings.
Eden Hazard: 7/10
On for Tchouameni just before the hour mark and had a positive influence on the proceedings. Some of his link-up play was sharp while he was involved in the moves leading to the goals.
David Alaba: 8/10
??? When your first contribution off the bench is to score a free-kick to give your side the lead!
— LaLiga English (@LaLigaEN) August 14, 2022
On for Mendy in the 74th minute and his first act after being introduced onto the pitch was to score the match-winner with a brilliant free-kick. Was solid in defence and helped Real Madrid see out the game.
Replaced Kroos with less than ten minutes left to help protect the lead.
Dani Ceballos: N/A
Late substitute for Vinicius Junior.