Almeria, Spain, Aug 14 (EFE).- Real Madrid battled to a hard-fought 2-1 comeback road win in its first La Liga match of the season, against a recently elevated Almeria.
Largie Ramazani got Almeria on the board in the opening minutes of play, forcing the coach of last year’s La Liga champions, Carlo Ancelotti, to make adjustments on the fly at Power Horse Stadium before 14,386 spectators, but Lucas Vazquez managed to even things up and then David Alaba – just 15 minutes before time – put the capital squad ahead for the win.
Just six minutes after the starting whistle, Ramazani received a perfect pass right over the Madrid defense and blasted a powerful low shot past Madrid netminder Thibaut Courtois for the 1-0.
Ancelotti had made five shifts in his starters for the match, and – although the team got off to a rather slow start – the Champions League and UEFA Super Cup winners were soon bringing significant pressure to bear on their hosts, although a goal Vazquez scored was ruled out for offside and Almeria was still ahead at the intermission.
However, the defending champs, on the hunt for the leveling tally, finally hit pay dirt a little more than an hour into play when it was Vazquez again who took control of a loose ball and found the twine from point-blank range after a decisive probe into the area by Vinicius Junior.
Ancelotti put Alaba in as a substitute for Ferland Mendy, and he wasted no time in hitting on a fabulous free kick, his first touch of the evening in the 75th minute, sending the ball into the top corner of the net for the win after a foul on Luka Modric.
Almeria: Fernando; Chumi, Kaiky (Arnau Puigmal, m.81), Rodrigo Ely, Babic, Akieme; Eguaras (Portillo, m.81), Robertone (Curro Sanchez, m.57), Samu Costa; Ramazani (Lazo, m.71) and Sadiq (Dyego Sousa, m.71).
Real Madrid: Courtois; Lucas Vazquez, Nacho, Rudiger, Mendy (Alaba, m.74); Tchouameni (Hazard, m.58), Kroos (Casemiro, m.83), Camavinga (Modric, m.46); Valverde, Vinicius (Ceballos, m. 83) and Benzema.