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LaLiga: Real Madrid shoot themselves in the foot in Alaves loss (1-2)

Real Madrid's LaLiga Santander campaign took another sour turn as a massive error from goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois helped Alaves emerge with a 2-1 victory from the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on Saturday night.

Lucas Perez gave the visitors from Vitoria an early lead with a penalty conversion before Courtois' early second-half gaffe gifted Joselu the second of the night for Alaves. Madrid mounted a late comeback effort with Casemiro pulling a goal back, but the surge was not enough, resulting in another domestic defeat for Los Blancos.

Manager Zinedine Zidane moved around some pieces in his starting XI, slotting Lucas Vazquez in at right-back, while Nacho remained at centre-back in place of the injured Sergio Ramos. Casemiro was also back in midfield, while Marco Asensio got the nod in attack with Eden Hazard and Mariano.

Alaves could not have asked for a better start as within the first four minutes Laguardia's header struck the arm of Nacho in the Madrid area, resulting in a penalty. Lucas Perez stepped up and slammed the spot kick past Courtois, handing the Basques an early 0-1 lead.

Later in the half Madrid had their own shout for a penalty when Hazard went down in the area, but referee Cordero Vega indicated there was no contact from Duarte and for play to continue.

Lucas Perez had a golden chance to double the lead for Alaves when a cross-field pass landed perfectly for the former Deportivo man, but Courtois stood tall and swatted away the effort.

Madrid's injury woes would resurface midway through the half and once again it was Hazard feeling the misfortune, as the Belgian had to depart early and was replaced by Rodrygo.

Courtois has been the reason why Madrid has pulled out some results this season, but the blame was all his when Alaves made it 2-0 shortly after the re-start, as the big Belgian gift-wrapped a ball to Joselu, who had the easiest of finishes into net for the goal.

There was still nearly a half left to play, an eternity for Madrid's opponents, but by the hour mark the two-goal gap remained. Zidane turned to his bench for a spark, with Vinicius on for Asensio.

But it was Alaves getting the next cracks and like he did earlier in the night,Courtois got low to prevent Lucas Perez for notching his second. That was followed by Perez setting up Joselu, only for the shot to sail over the crossbar

The final changes saw Isco, Martin Odegaard and Ferland Mendy brought on for Kroos, Luka Modric and Marcelo, respectively.

Isco's presence was immediately felt in setting up chances for Rodrygo and Lucas Vazquez, but each time the shot skidded just wide. The clearest chance though was a Mariano header that looked goal-bound, but a last-gasp goal-line clearance from Lejenue preserved Alaves' two-goal lead.

The Madrid breakthrough finally arrived minutes shy of the full 90, with Casemiro easily scoring from a metre out to make it 1-2 after a Vinicius shot had been blocked by Pacheco.

Isco, Los Blancos' sparkplug in their late surge, was given the last look to try to pull his side level, only to see his curling right-footer glance off the crossbar, sealing their fate on the day.

Match Sheet:

1.- Real Madrid: Courtois; Lucas Vazquez, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric; Asensio (Vinicius, min. 63), Mariano, Hazard (Rodrygo, min. 28).

2.- Alaves: Pacheco; Ximo Navarro, Laguardia, Lejenue, Duarte; Jota, Battaglia, Pina (Mendez, min. 77), Luis Rioja (Lopez, min. 89); Lucas (Sainz, min. 89), Joselu (Deyverson, min. 91).

Goals: 0-1, min. 5: Lucas Perez (p); 0-2, min. 49: Joselu; 1-2, min. 86: Casemiro

Referee: Cordero Vega (Cantabria). Cards: Casemiro (Min. 18) for Real Madrid, Kroos (Min. 61) for Real Madrid, Rioja (Min. 67) for Alaves, Duarte (Min. 76) for Alaves, Mendez (Min. 88) for Alaves

Red cards: None

Stadium: Estadio Alfredi Di Stefano

Attendance: 0

Source: Marca / Arch Bell 

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