Real begins the New Year with Liga top spot
Published: 11:09 AM, 3 January 2021
Real Madrid started the New Year 2021 and jumped to the top of La Liga on Saturday with a 2-0 home victory over in-form Celta Vigo.
Lucas Vazquez headed in a cross from Marco Asensio at the far post in the 6th minute, barely a minute after Real center-back Nacho had cleared a shot by Celta striker Iago Aspas off the line.
Vazquez returned the favor in the 53rd minute, laying a diagonal ball into the path of Asensio with the visiting defense in disarray. Asensio drove his shot into the roof of the net.
Real rebounded from a draw with promoted Elche on Wednesday to move one point clear at the top of the table, but second-place Atletico Madrid has played three fewer games and can regain the lead when they face Alaves on Sunday.
It was Celta’s first loss since Eduardo Coudet took over as manager on November 12, ending a run of seven games unbeaten that had lifted them from the relegation zone to eighth in the table.
With Real Madrid in control, coach Zinedine Zidane took off Asensio, Luka Modric, Dani Carvajal, Toni Kroos and, right at the end, captain Karim Benzema and brought on Eden Hazard and Fede Valverde, who are returning from injuries, and youngsters Martin Odegaard and Vinicius Junior.