Alaves 1-4 Real Madrid: Eden Hazard stars for Carlo Ancelotti’s side in LaLiga opener – Daily Mail

He only played 65 minutes but it was perhaps Eden Hazard’s best hour in a Real Madrid shirt as Carlo Ancelotti’s side got off to a wining start in La Liga.

They beat Alaves 4-1 and it was the former Chelsea man shining up front alongside a rejuventated Gareth Bale and two-goal Karim Benzema.

There were just three minutes into the second half when Benzema scored his first goal of the season from Hazard’s sublime flick after Lucas Vazquez had crossed from Bale’s long pass – Real Madrid’s new trident all involved in the opening goal.

Eden Hazard played a starring role with an assist as Real Madrid began season with a victory

Eden Hazard played a starring role with an assist as Real Madrid began season with a victory

Karim Benzema scored twice as Real Madrid defeated Alaves 4-1 to open up their campaign

Karim Benzema scored twice as Real Madrid defeated Alaves 4-1 to open up their campaign

It was classic Ancelotti preferring experience over youth in his team selection. Hazard, Bale and Benzema on from the start and Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and Marco Asensio all watching from the bench.

Ancelotti also opted not to play young full back Miguel Gutierrez and that meant new signing David Alaba played at full-back and Nacho in the centre of defence.

It was the outstanding Nacho who got the second goal and Hazard was involved again with a clever short corner that involved Fede Valverde and Luka Modric who played the final ball into the box.

The cross was deflected but Nacho read it well and stretched to convert it. Benzema almost got a third from another deft touch from Hazard but he was not to to be denied his brace. Fede Valverde steamed down the right and at the second attempt Benzema shot past Pacheco to make it three.

Benzema fires home his second and Real Madrid's third in a comfortable victory

Benzema fires home his second and Real Madrid’s third in a comfortable victory

Gareth Bale also starred following his return to Real after a season on loan at Tottenham

Gareth Bale also starred following his return to Real after a season on loan at Tottenham

Alaves pulled a goal back when Thibaut Courtois brought down substitute John Gudetti after Eder Militao had failed to steer the ball back to his keeper. Joselu slammed home the penalty to make it 3-1.

Alaves had looked like taking far more from the game in the first half, frustrating for Real Madrid. Far from sitting back and allowing the visitors to come at them they were on the front foot. Joselu headed over and Luis Rioja flashed a shot wide.

Hazard had Real Madrid’s first effort and Bale had two shots that went wide but it was predictable from Ancelotti’s team and Alaves were soon back on the attack with Joselu’s shot blocked by Nacho.

Benzema sent a shot wide and a curling cross from Alaba was almost turned in by Hazard but he could not get his shot away after bringing the ball down on his chest.

Bale is set to feature more in the plans of Carlo Ancelotti (left) this season after his loan spell

Bale is set to feature more in the plans of Carlo Ancelotti (left) this season after his loan spell

Nacho doubled Real Madrid's lead 11 minutes into the second half of the encounter

Nacho doubled Real Madrid’s lead 11 minutes into the second half of the encounter

Manu Garcia was lively for Alaves playing just behind Joselu but he was booked for a rash challenge on Benzema.

The half ended with Edgar and Rioja causing more problems for Real Madrid. First Edgar broke and crossed for Rioja to lob over with shouts for a handball against Lucas. He then skipped away from Lucas but pulled his shot wide.

After the underwhelming first 45 Ancelotti’s half time team talk worked the trick and his veteran front three put Alaves to the sword. Vinicius and Rodrygo came on late-on for Hazard and Bale and one mazy run from the former ended with him crossing inside the six-yard box but there was no one to finish.

Madrid were not to be denied their big win. Alaba crossed and Vinicius converted to make it 4-1. It was all smiles from the Brazilians and from Ancelotti’s veterans. He had given the old guard the nod in his team selection, and they had nodded back.

Defender David Alaba was making his league debut for Real Madrid during the encounter

Defender David Alaba was making his league debut for Real Madrid during the encounter

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