nsucurrent.com March 17, 2018

Real Madrid-Alavés: Marco Asensio a doubt for Zidane

26 February 2018, 09:25 | Nina Perez

Zidane is also keen to repair his relationship with Dani Ceballos after his irritation in mid-week

Zidane is also keen to repair his relationship with Dani Ceballos after his irritation in mid-week

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane was delighted with their 4-0 thrashing of Alaves.

They have scored 30 goals and turned the heat up on second-placed Atletico Madrid.

The home side were rewarded for their perseverance on the stroke of half-time as Ronaldo sent a powerful strike into the bottom corner after being picked out by Benzema, 1-0.

Defending champions Madrid are third in La Liga, 14 points behind leaders and rivals Barcelona, but are still alive in the Champions League, where they hold a 3-1 lead over PSG heading into the second leg of their last-16 tie.

Former Real Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa has warned the LaLiga giants against selling club-record signing Gareth Bale in the off-season. That has led to calls for others like Francisco "Isco" Alarcon and Marco Asensio to take their place.

#5 Is this the start of a turnaround to Karim Benzema's season?

The trio, supported by the incisive play of Lucas Vazquez, made the difference against an Alaves side that had been playing well over the last two months under new coach Abelardo Fernandez.

Alaves have been in good form coming into the game, but they are facing Real Madrid at a time when they are finally hitting their strides, following some impressive results over the past few weeks. "This proves that between them, there is a good atmosphere, a good relationship, and to win and continue what we're doing, it's super important". Not necessarily because of his two goals, both of which were fine finishes, but more so the way he surrendered the chance for a hat-trick by allowing Benzema to take a late penalty.

Ronaldo netted his second of the game just past the hour with a low drive from close to the penalty spot after a low pass from Lucas Vazquez.

Having heard his team-mate jeered earlier in the contest, the Portugal global then selflessly let Benzema convert an 89th-minute penalty after Victor Laguardia brought down a marauding Bale. Elsewhere, Celta Vigo gave their hopes of qualifying for the Europa League a boost as Iago Aspas scored in a 2-0 win over Eibar.

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