VIGO, Spain (Reuters) – Champions Real Madrid got their second consecutive win of the new LaLiga season with a comfortable 4-1 victory at Celta Vigo on Saturday.
Croatia midfielder Luka Modric, 36, showed his everlasting value on the pitch by scoring a brilliant goal and assisting Vinicius for another.
Karim Benzema opened the scoring from the spot in the 14th minute after the VAR spotted a handball inside the box but Celta equalised nine minutes later with a penalty of their own from Iago Aspas, after another handball.
Celta looked to be in control, however, in the 41st minute Luka Modric worked his magic by curling a shot from just outside the box into the upper left corner.
After the break, Modric teed up Vinicius to score the third in a lightning fast counter-attack in the 56th minute.
After shining in Real’s come from behind win at Almería last week, Vinicius had another brilliant performance as he was a constant threat to Celta’s defence with his speed and talent.
Ten minutes after scoring the third, he created another clinical counter-attack that Federico Valverde finished to wrap up the points for Real.
Modric was substituted eleven minutes later and received a standing ovation by Celta’s fans, who applauded the 2018 Ballon D’Or winner.
“It’s beautiful when your rival’s fans acknowledge the work that you put in,” Modric told DAZN.
“It’s special, I’m touched and have no words to thank their gesture.
“We played a great game, mainly starting from the end of the first half. It’s great to start the season with two wins and playing well.”
Modric played alongside youngsters Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga in what was Real’s first game without Casemiro, who joined Manchester United on Friday.
The French duo were solid as they alternated in the defensive midfielder role, but they also added an extra gear and quality that Carlo Ancelotti’s team didn’t seem to have with the Brazilian.
“Casemiro made history at the club and we will miss him, but now we need to move on and we all have to put an extra effort trying to replace him in what was his role. I think we have what it takes,” Modric said.
Substitute Eden Hazard had a chance to score with another penalty kick, given for a foul on Benzema, but goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin saved the Belgium forward’s effort.
(Reporting by Fernando KallasEditing by Christian Radnedge)