LIVE: Real Madrid vs Elche

LIVE: Real Madrid vs Elche

That is all for today’s live text coverage. Thanks for joining, goodbye!

This victory moves Madrid within five points of leaders Atletico Madrid, who play their game in hand against Getafe later on Saturday. Next up for Zidane’s men is a Champions League last-16 second leg with Atalanta on Tuesday, while Elche – still one point above the relegation zone – travel to Sevilla on Wednesday.

A late double from Benzema earns Real Madrid a 2-1 comeback win at home to Elche. Calvo powered in a header off the underside of the crossbar to give the visitors the lead, but Zidane immediately introduced Kroos and Modric and the change in personnel and tactics paid off. Modric set up Benzema for a headed equaliser and the Frenchman scored a sublime second in added time.


90′ + 2′ Elche now have around two minutes to find a response. The visitors led with 18 minutes to play but were unable to hold on.

Real Madrid

90′ + 1′ This was smart play from Rodrygo to chest the ball down to Benzema. But this goal is all about the quality of Benzema’s strike. What a player!

Real Madrid

90′ + 1′ GOOOOOAAAALLL!!! MADRID 2-1 ELCHE!! BENZEMA AT THE DOUBLE!! It is a superb finish from the French striker to rescue Madrid. Rodrygo chests the ball into Benzema’s path and he thumps a fine shot across Badia and in off the far post from 16 yards out.

90′ + 1′ Four minutes have been added on at the end of the game at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.

90′ NACHO DENIED! Nacho has been a threat throughout this game. He unleashes a powerful shot on target from 25 yards that is too hot for Badia to handle, though the Elche keeper is quickly on top of the loose ball.

88′ Vazquez’s cross from the right is not the worst you will see, but it is out of Benzema’s reach in the middle. A big couple of minutes await for both of these sides, who are of course chasing completely different targets this term.

Diego González

Raúl Guti


87′ Gonzalez replaces Guti for the final few minutes. Elche have now used all five substitutions; Madrid have one more available.


87′ Elche make two more changes. On comes Josema for Fidel.

86′ It is all Madrid, as you would expect. Modric has been pulling the strings since being introduced at 1-0 down, but he takes the wrong option here by firing over from 25 yards.

85′ NEARLY A SECOND! Casemiro is such a nuisance when Madrid are chasing a goal – in a good way! He stays high up the pitch and meets Nacho’s deep delivery, but the headed effort is just over the bar.

83′ Zidane’s side will be seven points behind Atletico after playing a game more than the leaders as things stand. The hosts desperately need a goal, but there is not a great deal happening at the moment.

81′ We are into the final 10 minutes in Madrid. Elche stunned their opponents by taking the lead, but they would surely accept a point if offered to them now.

79′ JUST WIDE! Casemiro cuts across the ball with his long-range shot. Badia is getting nowhere near it but the ball spins wide of the target. Madrid are closing in on a second goal.

77′ Karim Benzema has scored six goals in his last seven home LaLiga games for Real Madrid, including one in each of the last three (against Getafe, Valencia and now Elche).

Josan Ferrández

Tete Morente


75′ Morente, who set up the opening goal of the game, makes way for Josan with 15 minutes to go.


75′ Elche make a couple of changes following that Benzema leveller. Mfulu comes on for Boye in the first of them.

E. Hazard

Vinícius Júnior

Real Madrid

75′ Hazard was ready to come on before that equaliser and is now finally on the field. Vinicius is the man to make way.

Real Madrid

73′ Modric gave Kroos an option to go short and he showed just why he is so important to this Madrid side with his delivery from the left.

Real Madrid

73′ GOOOOAAALLL!!! MADRID 1-1 ELCHE!! The two substitutes combine to tee up Benzema for the leveller! Kroos plays the corner short to Modric, who delivers a teasing cross into the six-yard box for Benzema to head home. That is another great header considering the number of players around him.

72′ Rodrygo’s cross is out of the reach of Benzema, Vinicius and Casemiro. Elche are not exactly holding on, even if Madrid are seeing a lot of the ball.

71′ WIDE! Kroos has taken over set-piece duties since coming on. He delivers a good free-kick from deep that Casemiro meets with a header at full stretch. It is an awkward one and the midfielder is unable to find the target.


69′ Carrillo is the latest player to be cautioned following a foul on Benzema.

68′ This has been an eventful second half, with both sides denied strong penalty appeals before that breakthrough goal from Calvo – and what a header it was! Madrid have dominated possession since, but they really need to start creating chances.

66′ After that triple change from Zidane, it looks as though Madrid are now playing with a 4-3-3 formation. Kroos and Modric are on, but will it make any difference?

64′ Elche are winless in their last 10 LaLiga away matches (D3 L7), including defeats in each of the last four. They have not lost five or more in a row away from home in the same campaign in the competition since 1988-89 (12).

Real Madrid

62′ It is a triple change from Zidane as Kroos is on for Valverde with half an hour still to play.

Real Madrid

62′ Modric, whose creativity has been badly missed today, comes on for Isco.

Real Madrid

61′ Ramos lasts just over an hour on his comeback from injury. Rodygo is on in his place.


61′ Morente’s corner was sent into the perfect area to be attacked and Calvo did exactly that. Casemiro went down in the box, but the referee allows the goal to stand.


61′ GOOOOAAALL!!! MADRID 0-1 ELCHE!! The visitors take a surprise lead in the Spanish capital! Morente swings a corner to the edge of the six-yard box and Calvo gets in front of Varane to power a header in off the underside of the crossbar.

59′ COURTOIS RESCUES MADRID! Carrillo has a chance to put Elche in front but he miscues his shot and Courtois sticks up an arm to block the effort. From the same attack, the visitors want a penalty for a Ramos challenge on Carrillo in the box, but the referee does not agree.

57′ That was a big call from the officials. Marcone definitely had hold of Ramos, but was the Madrid skipper being smart with the way he went down?

56′ PENALTY APPEAL! Ramos is livid! He appears to be dragged to the ground by Marcone in the box when attempting to get on the end of a corner, but the referee awards a free-kick to Elche instead. 

54′ Mojica gets his head to a deep corner before Benzema can convert. Elche are seriously penned in now.

52′ Like the final five minutes of the first half, Madrid are enjoying a sustained spell of pressure high up the field now. There is a sense that the breakthrough goal may arrive soon.

50′ SIDE-NETTING! Elche fail to properly deal with a corner and Mendy lifts it back into the box. Benzema does well to control the ball and spin, but his shot ends in the side-netting. That was not an easy one, in fairness.

49′ It has been a scrappy start to the second half. The onus is very much on Madrid to find a way through on home soil against one of the division’s weaker teams.

47′ Neither head coach made any changes at half-time, incidentally, so it is as you were. Madrid need to find some midfield creativity from somewhere in the absence of Kroos and Modric.

46′ RESTART! Elche, on course for a big point in their battle to avoid relegation, get us back under way at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.

The final five minutes aside, Zidane will not be happy with Madrid’s first-half display at all. The hosts have rested a few key players today, though Modric and Kroos are among the subs, as is the returning Hazard – could we see either of them at the start of the second half?

Madrid and Elche go into half-time goalless after a pretty uneventful opening 45 minutes. The home side ended the half on top, but they only created one standout chance of note – Benzema failing to convert from 12 yards when picked out by Vinicius. Elche have had some promising moments without managing to test Courtois.


45′ + 2′ Valverde’s scuffed shot is just out of Casemiro’s reach at the back post. Madrid are finally starting to find some momentum, but it has come too late in the first half.

45′ + 1′ CHANCE! Isco fails to make any contact with Vazquez’s cross from six yards out. It runs through to Vinicius but he is also slow off the mark, the ball bouncing off the forward and behind for a goal-kick.

44′ Casemiro, who was used as a second striker late on against Atletico last week, has a shot blocked in the box. That came after Benzema felt he was pushed in the area, but the referee was right to wave play on.

43′ A bad first touch lets Boye down, otherwise he would have had just Courtois to beat. Elche are ending the first half on top in the Spanish capital.

41′ Vazquez is clipped and Madrid have a free-kick 30 yards out. It is chipped towards the six-yard box and Elche clear their lines.

39′ There is a moment of panic at the back for Madrid as Morente’s deep cross is not properly dealt with and is helped back into the middle. Courtois flaps at it and is grateful no opposition player is around to get on the end of the loose ball.

Real Madrid

37′ Benzema, in an attempt to hold off Calvo, catches his opponent in the face with his hand. The referee shows a yellow card to the Madrid striker.


36′ Elche are forced into a first-half change as the injured Barragan makes way for Cifu.

36′ CHANCE FOR BENZEMA! Madrid hit their opponents on the counter. Vinicius is played into space down the right and picks out Benzema with a low cross, but the striker fails to properly adjust his feet and fires wide of the target from a good position.

35′ Carrillo glances on Mojica’s cross towards the back post. A couple of Elche players are running in but neither can get a touch. That was a promising moment for the visitors.

34′ This has been a terrible watch so far. There has been just the one shot on target – Isco being denied by Badia with a weak effort from range – and very little else has happened. Anything less than a win today would surely rule Madrid out of the title race for good.

32′ Nacho is allowed to run 15 yards with the ball. The centre-back is not comfortable going any further so slips in Mendy to his left, but the wing-back’s cross is in the perfect area for Badia to gather.

30′ Vinicius charges down the left and looks to bring the ball inside, but Verdu stands his ground to cut out the danger.

29′ SAVE! Isco has a go from 25 yards. He does not make the best connection with the shot and Badia has a simple save to make down the middle, though the Elche keeper has at least now had something to do.

27′ Having pretty much sat back for the opening 22 minutes or so, Elche are now starting to venture forward. It is proving the best form of defence as Madrid are unable to get out of their own half.

25′ Mojica sends in another cross from the left, which just like his previous one is also rather disappointing. Courtois gets down to snaffle the danger.

24′ Isco is tripped in the centre of the field and Madrid have a free-kick. Elche boss Escriba will be more than happy with the way the opening quarter of this game has panned out.

22′ Casemiro, helping out as a makeshift centre-back, comfortably deals with a low cross into the box from the left. Madrid break but Vazquez pretty much kicks the ball out of play when attempting to find Benzema.

20′ Benzema thinks about shooting, declines the chance to do so and the attack breaks down with Mendy’s intercepted cross.

19′ The hosts are continuing to dominate possession, without asking many questions of their opponents’ backline, which is effectively made up of eight players at the moment.

17′ Madrid are playing with pretty much eight outfielders in the opposition half, with Ramos and Varane the only two players sitting back. This is a game Zidane’s men need to win if they are to keep their title hopes alive.

15′ That really was quite some finish from Nacho, a good 20 yards out – a shame the whistle had already gone!

14′ Nacho thumps a rocket of a shot into the top-left corner, though the whistle had sounded a second or so beforehand for Isco’s foul on Calvo.

12′ The home side have had 78 per cent of the ball so far, but they have yet to register a serious attempt of any sort. Varane blasted over from a long way out and that is pretty much as good as things have got for them.

10′ Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has scored five goals in his last six home games in LaLiga, including a goal in each of his last two home outings (against Getafe and Valencia).

8′ Benzema and Valverde exchange passes in the Elche box, but the former is unable to get a shot away. Varane does not need a second invitation to shoot as he fires the ball into the stands from a good 30 yards out.

6′ Vazquez and Mendy appear to be playing as wing-backs for Madrid. Nacho, Ramos and Varane complete the back five.

5′ Valverde plays a cross into the middle but Isco cannot reach it at full stretch. Benzema is positioned behind him, though the ball is cut out before the French striker can get to it.

3′ Isco tries to return a pass to Vinicius but is unable to find his team-mate in the opposition box. Benzema has started the game wide on the left, with Vinicius towards the centre.

1′ KICK-OFF! Madrid, with Ramos in their starting line-up and Hazard on the bench, get us up and running in the Spanish capital!

Both sets of players are out on the field at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano – Madrid’s temporary home ground – and kick-off is now just a few moments away.

Real Madrid have not lost any of their last nine games against Elche in LaLiga (W8, D1), since a 3-1 loss in March 1978. Los Blancos have played 21 home games in LaLiga against Elche without losing any of them (W18 D3) – only against Las Palmas have they played more home games in the history of the competition without losing (34 – W29 D5).

Escriba has made just one change to the Eibar side that saw off Sevilla last week, with Mojica coming in for the benched Josema at left-back after recovering from injury. That means another start for Morente, who is preferred to Josan, while Carrillo and Boye – who have eight league goals between them this term – once again lead the attack.

Zidane has made four changes to Madrid’s starting line-up following the draw with Atletico. Captain Ramos makes his first appearance in two months after recovering from injury, while Valverde, Isco and Vinicius are also recalled. Modric, Rodrygo, Kroos and Asensio drop to the bench, perhaps with an eye on next week’s Champions League clash against Atalanta.

Subs: Victor Rodriguez, Nino, Josema, Josan, Diego Gonzalez, Pere Milla, Luismi, Helibelton Palacios, Lluis Andreu, Paulo Gazzaniga, Cifu, Omenuke Mfulu.

ELCHE XI (4-4-2): Edgar Badia; Antonio Barragan, Dani Calvo, Gonzalo Verdu (c), Johan Mojica; Fidel, Raul Guti, Ivan Marcone, Tete Morente; Guido Carrillo, Lucas Boye.

Subs: Toni Kroos, Eder Militao, Rodrygo, Hugo Duro, Diego Altube, Eden Hazard, Andriy Lunin, Marco Asensio, Luka Modric.

MADRID XI (4-2-3-1): Thibaut Courtois; Nacho, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos (c), Ferland Mendy; Federico Valverde, Casemiro; Lucas Vazquez, Isco, Vinicius Junior; Karim Benzema.

Elche are one point above the relegation zone heading into this match after pulling off a shock 2-1 win against Sevilla last weekend. Fran Escriba’s charges have won two of their last four games, in fact, and will be looking to put some distance between themselves and the bottom three today.

Madrid are unbeaten in six league games but have drawn the last two of those, including a late 1-1 tie at leaders Atletico Madrid last weekend. Atleti won their game in hand in midweek and are eight points clear of Zinedine Zidane’s men, who occupy third place.

Welcome to our live text coverage of the LaLiga clash between Real Madrid and Elche at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.

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