MADRID: Real Madrid inflicted Celta Vigo’s first defeat of the season to move three points clear at the top of La Liga thanks to a 3-1 win at Balaidos on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
Cristiano Ronaldo and Danilo struck within the first 23 minutes for Madrid, who were also grateful to another spectacular goalkeeping display from Keylor Navas to keep Celta at bay.
Celta was reduced to 10 men just 12 minutes into the second-half when Gustavo Cabral was dismissed for a second bookable offence, but they still pushed Madrid all the way as Nolito set up a grandstand finish five minutes from time when he fired into the top corner.
However, Marcelo rounded off the scoring with the final kick of the game.
Victory takes Madrid three points clear of Celta and Barcelona, who entertains Eibar on Sunday.
“We had a lot of chances to finish the game before,” said Madrid boss Rafael Benitez.
“In the end we had to suffer because we needed the third goal, but we have to take the positives which is to come to such a difficult place after playing PSG on Wednesday and get a great result.”
Nolito admitted that Navas had just been too good.
“We have to congratulate him because he stopped three of four clear goals which I don’t know how he saved,” he told Canal Plus.