Real Madrid beat Celta to narrow Barca lead

Real Madrid beat Celta to narrow Barca lead

Gareth Bale was next to come close as he headed a Lucas Vazquez cross over the Celta crossbar in the 11th minute.

An "easy" run of games has allowed Madrid to regain their confidence in front of goal, with Karim Benzema bagging three goals in his last two matches, having gone on a run of eight games without finding the net under Lopetegui.

But, a mere 14 La Liga games and a humiliating 5-1 defeat to Barcelona later and the 52-year-old walked away, with his head hung down after the news was released that Lopetegui was sacked with the defeat at Barcelona the last straw.

'We Italian coaches have a great culture of work and when you join a new club you can't change everything, you must try and do it very gradually.

'Celta played very aggresively, ' Solari said.

However, Benzema was a man on a mission tonight, as he got the better of Roncaglia in the box, snatching a poor pass from him, turning his man and shooting at goal.

Real's lead was far from comfortable, though, and Hugo Mallo pulled the home side back into the game with a well-taken volley on the hour mark which preceded a spell of heavy pressure from Celta. Junca fouled Odriozola in the box in the 81st minute, and the subsequent penalty was knocked home by Sergio Ramos in nearly trademark Panenka fashion.

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The action was not finished, however, with Celta notching their second in the fourth minute of added time when Mendez's strike deflected past Courtois.

And with 15 goals scored and only two conceded he has established the best ever start for a Real manager.

Solari has done little wrong since taking charge, winning ALL of his games in charge.

Real Madrid director Emilio Butragueno praised Santiago Solari, saying the club were "very happy" with the caretaker coach.

There is some good news for Madrid fans, however, as forward Mariano Diaz is expected to return after the break in domestic fixtures as the Blancos look to continue their resurgence following the sacking of Julen Lopetegui.

Dani Carvajal and Marcelo are also now working their way back to fitness, and with full-back Sergio Reguillon having been forced off at half-time against Celta with an as yet unspecified injury, there is a real danger of Madrid running out of experienced defenders.

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