Real Madrid needed a wonderful free kick from David Alaba to squeeze past Almeria and get their La Liga title defence off to a winning start as they claimed a 2-1 victory on Sunday night.

Carlo Ancelotti‘s side started poorly at the Power Horse Stadium in Andalusia and fell behind inside the opening 10 minutes courtesy of a clinical finish from former Manchester United youth player Largie Ramazani.

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Madrid’s defence was caught out in just the sixth minute when Ramazani latched onto Inigo Eguaras’superb ball over the top and fired past Thibaut Courtois from just inside the penalty area.

Home goalkeeper Fernando Martinez made a series of saves to frustrate Real Madrid before Lucas Vazquez levelled.

Alaba replaced Ferland Mendy in the 74th minute and curled a sumptuous free-kick past Fernando from 25 yards to seal all three points with his first touch.

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Having beaten Eintracht Frankfurt in Wednesday’s Super Cup, Real came into the new La Liga season in a confident mood.

But they were left stunned when Belgian forward Ramazani, who left United in 2020 after coming through their youth ranks, beat the offside trap and fired past Thibaut Courtois to put Almeria ahead.

Fernando continued to frustrate Madrid after the break, denying Benzema with a fine save, but he was eventually beaten in the 61st minute when Vazquez slammed home after the Almeria goalkeeper had kept out Vinicius‘s effort. 

Alaba came off the bench and immediately scored from a 75th-minute free-kick to give defending champion Madrid a 2-1 come-from-behind win at promoted Almería. 

Best players of the match

Lucas Vazquez


Lucas Vazquez squared things up for Real Madrid on the hour after Fernando Martinez had saved from Vinicius Junior.

David Alaba


David Alaba scored Madrid’s second with 15 minutes to go, ensuring the champions survived an opening day scare.

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