Real Madrid had to be patient to get the win, but the goals came in the end. The 3-0 scoreline is probably a little harsh on Alaves, who were right in the game right until the final moments, but Solari's side head into the Copa del Rey semi final against Barcelona next week in good form. Vinicius was great.
- 2nd Half
- Vinícius JúniorIsco87'
- CalleriBlanco Sánchez81'
- Manu GarciaGuidetti81'
- Vinícius Júnior80'
- 1st Half
Real Madrid - Deportivo Alavés
Liga - 4 February 2019
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- End of 2nd Half
FULL TIME: Real Madrid 3-0 Alaves
- GoalMariano DíazReal Madrid
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Real Madrid 3 (91 mins - Mariano Diaz) Alaves 0. Incredible way for Real Madrid to wrap up the points! Odriozola got to the byline and played the cross for Mariano. The former Lyon striker throws himself at it and emphatically powers a diving header into the back of the net via the inside of the post.
Just two minutes of stoppage time to be played at the end of the match.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO... NO! Odriozola believes that he has added a third for Real Madrid, slotted through by Casemiro, but the flag was up for offside. Correct call.
What an ovation that was from the home supporters inside the Santiago Bernabeu for Vinicius. The Brazilian has been the best player on the pitch this evening. He's in great form.
- OffVinícius JúniorReal Madrid
- OnIscoReal Madrid
Here's the change and it's Vinicius who comes off and he is replaced by Isco.
It looks like Isco might be about to come on for Real Madrid. Of course, much has been made about how the playmaker has been frozen out of the team by Solari in recent months.
Odriozola was through! That could, and perhaps should, have three for Real Madrid. Vinicius played through Odriozola, but the Real Madrid full back couldn't poke the shot past Pacheco.
Alaves have made more of a contest of this than many predicted, but Real Madrid can probably relax now in the knowledge that the three points have been wrapped up. Game over.
- OffJonathan CalleriDeportivo Alavés
- OnAlejandro Blanco SánchezDeportivo Alavés
And the second change from the away side sees Blanco come on for Manu.
- OffManu GarciaDeportivo Alavés
- OnJohn GuidettiDeportivo Alavés
These changes had been readied for a while, but Guidetti comes on with Alaves now 2-0 down.
- GoalVinícius JúniorReal Madrid
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Real Madrid 2 (80 mins - Vinicius Junior) Alaves 0. There's the goal that should wrap things up for Real Madrid! Asensio played the low cross in from the right, the defender misses it, the ball falls for Vinicius, and the Brazilian makes no mistake in sliding the finish past Pacheco! That's his first La Liga goal.
This game still isn't done and there is a certain tension in the Santiago Bernabeu. The home supporters are largely sitting with their arms folded. There's not a lot to get excited about.
Mariano has at least given Real Madrid some renewed energy since coming off the bench. Having missed so much of the season, the striker is desperate to make an impression.
Whoops! Swing and a miss from Mariano! That was his first involvement after coming off the bench, but the striker completely misses the ball and falls over as he goes for a shot.
- OffKarim BenzemaReal Madrid
- OnMariano DíazReal Madrid
There's the change and Mariano comes on to replace Benzema for the final 15 minutes.
This isn't the ideal situation for Real Madrid. Solari would have hoped his side would have this game wrapped up before now so he could rest some key players ahead of the Clasico.
- Yellow cardMubarak WakasoDeportivo Alavés
Finally, Wakaso gets a yellow card for taking out Vinicius. That had been coming for a while.
Bale got just over an hour of action tonight. It's important to keep in mind that he is still returning from injury, but it wasn't the greatest performance from the Welsh winger. Subdued.
The home fans inside the Santiago Bernabeu are getting a bit restless. They sense that Alaves are coming back into this game. Real Madrid are resting on their laurels with just a 1-0 lead.
- OffBurguiDeportivo Alavés
- OnDiego RolánDeportivo Alavés
Alaves also made a change of their own, with Burgui coming on for the away side.
- OffGareth BaleReal Madrid
- OnMarco AsensioReal Madrid
Solari made his first change of the game a few moments ago, with Asensio coming on for Bale.
Apologies for the break in updates. Some technical issues on our end of things. We had to switch it off and back on again. Fortunately, no goals have been missed. Still 1-0 to Real.
Solari has sent Mariano to go warm up down the touchline. Might we see the striker before the end of the match? And that would mean that Benzema might come off?
Alaves are now pressing much higher on Real Madrid. The hosts seem surprised by this and they are now finding their passes like they were in the opening 45 minutes of the game.
- Yellow cardBurguiDeportivo Alavés
It's a yellow card for Burgui. That was a high boot on Reguilon from the Alaves man.
The second half is being played with a bit more urgency than the first half. That is largely down to the change in approach from Alaves. They are engaging Real Madrid higher up the pitch.
Bale with the shot! That's much, much better from the Welshman. He controlled a Modric pass instantly, turned and got away the low shot, but Pacheco makes the diving save.
In truth, it was a disappointing first half. Real Madrid were the better team and deserved their opener, but Alaves showed very little in the way of ambition. Will that change in this half?
Duarte shoots wide! It's a positive start from the away side, but the Alaves man puts his effort well wide. But at least that shows a bit more ambition from the team trailing 1-0 after the first half.
- 2nd Half
The second half is under way! Real Madrid have a 1-0 lead against Alaves in this La Liga fixture.
What did you make of the first half at the Santiago Bernabeu? Is there any way that Alaves can crank up the pressure on Real Madrid? Will Real score more? Tweet me!
- End of 1st Half
HALF TIME: Real Madrid 1-0 Alaves. Benzema's 18th goal of the season (in all competitions) is the difference between the two sides at the break. That's the only real talking point.
Yup, those are definitely whistles towards Bale now. The Welsh winger has always had a difficult relationship with the Real Madrid fans and they're not happy with him tonight.
Was that whistling towards Bale from the home supporters inside the Santiago Bernabeu? The Welshman has been quiet, but yeesh... that's harsh. He's not a fans favourite.
Vinicius clatters into Wakaso in the centre circle after giving the ball away. Commentator's curse. Nonetheless, the Brazilian has been fantastic in this first half.
Vinicius has outshone Bale so far. Most of Real Madrid's attacking moves are flowing through the Brazilian teenager. He has been in exceptional form over the past few weeks.
Aren't the officials meant to allow the game to unfold when there is a tight offside call? They have VAR in La Liga. For some reason, the linesman was hasty in raising his flag there... and it was the wrong call!
Was Benzema onside? The Real Madrid striker was played through, but the game is pulled back for offside. However, replays show that Benzema might well have been onside! Garcia was playing him on.
Does that opening goal mean that Alaves' game plan has been compromised? It seemed that they were counting on getting to half time with the scoreline still level.
Vinicius is so productive for a player of his age. Keep in mind that he is still a teenager and yet there's a real purpose to everything that he does. What an addition to Real Madrid.
- Yellow cardVíctor LaguardiaDeportivo Alavés
Laguardia gets the yellow card for cleaning out Vinicius as the Brazilian dribbled past him.
Very nice move from Real Madrid to open the scoring. It was a pass from Vinicius through the legs of an opponent that opened up the space for Reguilon in the penalty box.
- GoalKarim BenzemaReal Madrid
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Real Madrid 1 (30 mins - Karim Benzema) Alaves 0. Real Madrid have made the breakthrough and it's Benzema who has grabbed it! Reguilon was released into the box by Vinicius and the young left back found the French striker in the middle. He had the simple task of finishing from close range.
It feels like Real Madrid will have to be patient this evening. Alaves are sat deep, plugging the gaps at the back. They are asking the European champions to break them down.
Barcelona drew at home to Valencia on Saturday and that means that Real Madrid can close the gap on their rivals with a win here. Even still, the difference would stand at eight points.
Down the left side, it's Vinicius who is receiving the ball. But down the right side, it's Odriozola that Real Madrid are using rather than Bale. That's quite interesting. Anything to read into that?
Real Madrid are threatening to open the scoring here, but there's just something lacking from their play. It's the final ball. If they can find that then the goals will follow.
Bale has been quite quiet in the opening 20 minutes of this match. The Welsh winger will be keen to make an impression having missed out through injury for the past few weeks.
Alaves are a team that can score on the rapid counter attack, so that's something that Real Madrid have to be wary of. They mustn't give Alaves too much space to expolit in behind.
Going back to Vinicius, he makes things happen for Real Madrid. He gives them something different, something they were lacking before he was promoted from the Castilla team.
Reguilon from distance! Wow! That was close from the Real Madrid full back. Reguilon let rip from about 25 yards out, but the ball clips the top of the Alaves net on its way over.
It's quite remarkable how Vinicius has very quickly become a key player for Real Madrid. He is the one they look for whenever they have possession in the centre of the pitch.
Vinicius gets the shot away! That was great play from the Brazilian winger. He cut inside off the left wing and lashed a powerful strike towards goal, but Pacheco beats the ball away.
Alaves down the left! Jony had the chance to get the ball into the middle after Jony gets to the byline down the left side, but the pass is cut out and the corner kick comes to nothing.
Ramos digged in the ribs! The Real Madrid captain took one in the ribs from Garcia and is doubled over for the moment in pain. Ramos will be fine to continue, though. Nothing serious.
There was a push on Wakaso from Casemiro there. The Real Madrid midfielder wasn't happy with a tackle from his Alaves counterpart there. That's one to keep an eye on tonight.
Just past the post! Decent effort from Benzema. The Frenchman holds up the ball, swaps passes with Ceballos and then curls his shot wide of the target. Nice idea from Benzema.
Benzema was exceptional during the week against Girona. In fact, he was great in both legs of the Copa del Rey quarter final. The Frenchman is finally starting to find some form.
This has been a fast start by Real Madrid. It used to be the case earlier in the season that they would be caught cold by visiting teams to the Santiago Bernabeu, but not here.
Another Ceballos attempt! The ball is played back to the Real Madrid midfielder on the edge of the box. His first shot is blocked and then his second shot on the volley flashes over.
Ceballos might have done better! Bale gets a cross to the near post. It was a poor clearance by Maripan, with the ball falling to Ceballos. But he too scuffs his effort on goal.
Alaves were weakened significantly in the January transfer window. They lost Ruben and Gomez in the window and no real replacements came in. So that was a big blow to them.
While Solari has clearly made some changes with the game against Barcelona in mind, this is still a very strong side from Real Madrid. They should win this one comfortably.
- 1st Half
The match is under way! It's Real Madrid against Deportivo Alaves in this La Liga fixture.
Okay, here we go. About to get started in the Spanish capital. Kick off is just seconds away.
Real Madrid suffered defeat to Alaves back in October, so they will be wary of the visitors to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Of course, Real Madrid have a Copa del Rey Clasico against Barcelona next week, so that could explain why Solari has rested Marcelo and Carvajal.
Not long until kick off at the Santiago Bernabeu. The warm ups are complete and the two teams are waiting to walk out at the famous, old stadium in the Spanish capital.
Youth at full back! Bale isn't the only notable selection by Solari for this game this evening. Reguilon and Odriozola have been favoured at left back and right back respectively.
I'm Graham Ruthven and you can catch me on Twitter ahead of the match to let me know your thoughts. Will Real Madrid continue their recent good form? Can Alaves spring a surprise? Tweet me!
Recent results have carried Real Madrid into the top three in La Liga. After Barcelona's slip up against Valencia yesterday, they can close the gap on their rivals... to eight points.
Bale starts! Solari has dropped Vazquez to the bench in order to bring the Welsh winger into the starting lineup. He will play on the right side, with Vinicius on the left and Benzema up front.
TEAM NEWS: Real Madrid - Courtois, Odriozola, Nacho, Ramos, Reguilon, Modric, Casemiro, Ceballos, Bale, Benzema, Vinicius. /// Alaves - Pacheco, Vigaray, Maripan, Laguardia, Duarte, Wakaso, Pina, Garcia, Burgui, Calleri, Jony.
Good evening and welcome to Eurosport's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Liga fixture between Real Madrid and Deportivo Alaves. We'll bring you all the action as it happens. Kick off is at 7.45pm.