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Real rally past promoted Almeria to start LaLiga

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Published in Soccer
Sunday, 14 August 2022 16:58

Champions Real Madrid overcame a slow start in their first match of the LaLiga season with a 2-1 comeback win over Almeria at the Power Horse Stadium on Sunday night.

David Alaba netted a divine winner after Lucas Vazquez had drawn Madrid level following a surprise opener from Almeria's Largie Ramazani in the sixth minute.

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The newly-promoted hosts took a shock lead early in the first half with a classy goal through Ramazani, who picked up a perfect ball over the top of the Madrid defense, took one touch and fired a low line drive past Thibaut Courtois to make it 1-0.

Carlo Ancelotti's side -- which included five changes to the starting 11 that won both the Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup -- applied plenty of pressure throughout the first half and even had a Vazquez goal ruled out for offside as Almeria clung to their narrow lead until half-time.

Madrid ratcheted through the gears and found their equaliser just after the hour mark when Vazquez pounced on a loose ball and scored from close range following Vinicius Junior's hard-charging run into the area.

Alaba made the ultimate impact as a substitute, scoring the go-ahead goal with his first touch after coming on for Ferland Mendy. The Austria international bent the ball up and over the Almeria wall from a free kick into the top corner after Luka Modric was brought down just outside the penalty area.

"It was a complicated match, they explored very well the spaces that we left on the back of the defence," Ancelotti said. "[Aurelien] Tchouameni and [Eduardo] Camavinga didn't show their true quality and potential, but sometimes Real Madrid shirt is a heavy burden for the young players.

"I have full confidence that they will progress because they are high level players."

Information from Reuters was used in this report.

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