Madrid, Jan 24 (IANS) Real Madrid recovered from a painful few days which saw them lose in the semi-final of the Spanish Suercup to Athletic Club Bilbao and then crash out of the Copa del Rey to third tier Alcoyano, when they cruised to a comfortable 4-1 win away to Alaves, who were celebrating their centenary.
Zinedine Zidane was not in the dugout on Saturday evening after testing positive for the coronavirus, but his side didn’t seem to miss his presence as they took a 3-0 lead before halftime, reports Xinhua news agency.
Casemiro opened the scoring with a header from a Toni Kroos cross following a corner, Eden Hazard then set up Karim Benzema to make it 2-0 in the 41st minute, before scoring himself from another Kroos pass in first-half injury time.
Joselu’s header just before the hour gave Alaves brief hope of a fightback, but Benzema’s second goal 10 minutes later killed that hope off and gave Madrid three points which should help to ease the pressure on a coach currently in quarantine.
Youssef En Nesyri was Sevilla’s hero as he scored a hat-trick to give his side a comfortable 3-0 win in their Andalusian derby at home to Cadiz.
His first goal was a left-foot shot from inside the area, while the second two were both powerful headers as he outmuscled the Cadiz defense to help strengthen Sevilla’s place in the top-four.
Sevilla’s nearest rivals Villarreal were held to a 0-0 draw away to bottom of the table Huesca, who defended well, but without top scorer Gerard Moreno Villarreal lacked bite in attack.
Two goals in the last five minutes saw Betis take a point from their visit to Real Sociedad, who had led 2-0 in the 85th minute thanks to goals from Alexander Isak and Mikel Oyarzabal, although Betis keeper, Joel should have done better with Isak’s goal.
Joel redeemed himself with several good saves before former Real Sociedad midfielder Sergio Canales gave Betis a lifeline with an 85th-minute header from Joaquin Sanchez’s cross and Joaquin leveled the scores with a deflected left-foot shot two minutes into injury time following a pass from Cristian Tello.