Real Madrid 2-2 Celta Vigo: Santi Mina scores late equalizer while La Liga leaders are held on Eden Hazard’s return to action
- Substitute Santi Mina scored late tying run when Celta Vigo signed with Real Madrid
- Celta took a shock lead through Fedor Smolov, but Toni Kroos later equalized
- Sergio Ramos thought he had won with a penalty, but Mina then scored
- Eden Hazard completed 73 minutes while playing his first game since November
- Victory sees Real go three points further than Barcelona at the top of La Liga table
Real Madrid welcomed Eden Hazard just in time for the return of the Champions League football, but had their La Liga wings cut by Celta Vigo who won a point at the Bernabeu.
Madrid had taken a 2-1 lead with Hazard and won a penalty that Sergio Ramos scored to give the home team the lead. But from the supreme pass by Denis Suarez, Santi Mina scored a late equalizer to leave Real Madrid just one point above Barcelona.
After seven minutes, Celta Vigo led the way. Fedor Smolov took an excellent Iago Aspas through the ball and shot past Thibaut Courtois.
Substitute Santi Mina celebrates this after scoring a late equalizer for Celta Vigo vs Real Madrid
Mina celebrates his goal to follow, with a point that Celta is coming out of the relegation zone
Sergio Ramos celebrates his goal that Real Madrid lead Celta Vigo at home
Ramos is happy to follow his goal, but Real could not hold onto their lead against Celta
Ramos showed a good calm from the start when he scored his fifth league goal this season
Madrid was astonished and Hazard back in the team for the first time in 81 days led the fightback, but for all of their chances Madrid couldn’t break Celta.
Gareth Bale dropped the ball to Casemiro who shot. Bale then went up close and Marcelo also tried his luck at a long distance.
Madrid besieged Celta’s goal and Bale’s flashy finish went wide after Hazard and Benzema joined brilliantly to the left.
But despite all the pressure, it was Joseph Aidoo who almost scored. His towering header from a corner was pushed away by Thibaut Courtois.
Madrid had peppered the Celta box, but few found a white shirt, and although there had been enough shots, none of them had been on target.
Eden Hazard played 73 minutes at his first performance since November when he returned
Hazard fights for possession with Celta Vigo midfielder Rafinha during the Sunday collision
EQUAL FACTS & LA LIGA TABLE
Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos (Modric 81); Bale (Mendy 84), Benzema, Hazard (Vinicius Junior 73)
Subs: Areola, Jovic, Militao, Isco
booked: Carvajal, Bale
goals: Kroos 52, Ramos 65 (pen)
Celta Vigo: Blank; Aidoo, Murillo, Araujo, Vazquez (Sisto 55), Rafinha, Yokuslu, Bradaric (Mina 83), Olaza; Aspas, Smolov (Suarez 70)
Subs: Alvarez, Beltran, Mendez, Fernandez
booked: Olaza, Yokuslu
Sergio Ramos had the ball in the net at the restart. But before he could celebrate with Bale who had dropped the ball on his right foot, Bale saw the raised flag exclude the goal correctly.
Toni Kroos then hit the back of the net and this time there was no flag. It was with his ‘wrong’ foot if he had such a thing – sliding the ball over the turf and past Ruben Blanco from Marcelo’s withdrawal.
The pace went up, but Celta responded well. Zinedine Zidane was even tackled when Aidoo slid down the field and came straight into the Real Madrid coach.
Ramos had the opportunity to put Madrid first at 63 minutes. Ruben Blanco completely unwittingly dropped Eden Hazard. The Belgian no longer had a pitch, but fell on the byline. And Ramos – with his characteristic delayed approach – kicked the stairs in the corner. It should have been a goal kick, instead Madrid was the first.
Toni Kroos celebrates his goal, which pulled Real Madrid level in their collision with Celta Vigo
Smolov celebrates with his teammates Lucas Olaza and Iago Aspas after finding the net
Fedor Smolov celebrates after his goal gave Celta Vigo a shock lead over Real Madrid
Hazard, who had won the point kick, now spun the field and looked – well past the hour – very much like a player ready to defeat Manchester City in the Champions League.
He finally made way for Vinicius in 73 minutes for a huge applause, a few moments after a late challenge from Bale on Rafinha he almost saw the field – with red cards – for his teammate. The challenge was on the side as opposed to the back of the Brazilian, so the card was only yellow despite the Celta protests. Bale was taken off after 84 minutes, replaced by Ferland Mendy.
It was a substitute for Celta who would give the final spin. Denis Suarez’s pass brought Mina through and he leveled the game and denied Madrid two points.