Real Madrid 3-0 Almeria La Liga MATCH REPORT: James Rodriguez nets stunning volley and Alvaro Arbeloa also scores in win

  • Real Madrid: Navas, Arbeloa, Pepe, Varane, Coentrao, Kroos, Illarramendi, Rodriguez, Ronaldo, Jese, Hernandez
  • Almeria: Ruben, Ximo, Trujillo, Mauro, Mane, Verza, Thomas, Corona, Dubarbier, Hemed, Edgar 
  • Martin Odegaard doesn't make Real debut despite being named in squad
  • Iker Casillas also on the bench for the European champions
  • Madrid narrow gap to Barcelona to two points at top of La Liga 

Real Madrid kept alive their hopes of overhauling La Liga leaders Barcelona when a James Rodriguez stunner set them on their way to a serene 3-0 home victory over struggling Almeria on Wednesday. 

Almeria held out against their illustrious opponents until the stroke of halftime at the Bernabeu when Rodriguez pounced on a loose ball and lashed a shot into the top corner from just outside the penalty area.

The European champions, depleted by injuries to forwards Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, doubled their lead four minutes after halftime when Mauro Dos Santos diverted the ball into his own net under pressure from La Liga top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Full back Alvaro Arbeloa netted a rare goal to make it 3-0 five minutes from time, his third in 167 La Liga games for Real, when he turned the ball past goalkeeper Ruben Martinez from a Javier Hernandez centre.


  • Matthew Morlidge

    Host commentator

That's all from me

It may not have been Odegaard's night, but I'll leave you with the memory of that Rodriguez volley. Stunning.

Hope you enjoyed!

FULL-TIME: Real Madrid 3-0 Almeria

Isco misses a chance late on, and that's it! Comfortable win for Real Madrid in the end, but they made hard work of that. Nowhere near the standard of Barcelona yesterday.

Tonight was supposed to be about Martin Odegaard but the teenager didn't make it off the bench. And don't expect him to at the weekend either, with Sevilla away next up for Madrid.

He may not have scored many, but...
GOAL! REAL MADRID (Arbeloa 84) 3-0 Almeria

There he is, the goal machine! Arbeloa nets his first goal in SEVEN years after getting on the end of Hernandez's cross after a corner.

Will we see Odegaard... NO WE WON'T. Oh Carlo, how dare you. Nacho comes on for Raphael Varane.


82mins: Ronaldo wastes another opportunity, this time blazing it into the stands after using Hernandez as a decoy to go for goal himself. Slightly selfish, and he also looks a bit foolish after that one.

Ronaldo watches Real's second goal trickle into the net

78mins: Still no Odegaard and that's due in part to Almeria's resilience defensively. And going forward Hemed gets his first eye at goal, but slips after finding himself clear of the Real defence.


73mins: CHANCE. Ronaldo whips in a fantastic low ball from the right but it's slightly behind Hernandez, who can't quite divert it in. Just wide.


70mins: Real may be winning, but it's not been Ronaldo's day so far. He was denied one with that own goal, and he fluffs his lines when he is presented with his latest chance, dragging a left-footed shot well wide from inside the area.

REAL SUBS: Rodriguez and Illarramendi off, Isco and Lucas Silva on

64mins: Two players coming off the bench... but Odegaard will have to wait. Another January signing Lucas Silva gets a run out as well as Isco, who has been in sparkling form this season.


62mins: Still a bit of work for Real to do first though. Jonathan Zongo has come on and looks a threat down the right-hand side, but after getting behind Coentrao and Illarramendi he slices his cross. Waste, that.


57mins: Amongst all that, Norwegian wonderkit Martin Odegaard has started his warm-up. Will we see him today? If Real keep going at this rate, I imagine so.


53mins: It's been given officially as a Dos Santos own goal, so we'll go with that. Ronaldo was shaking his hand as he went back into his half, so that was a better indication than any. We know he loves to celebrate.

Real are well on top now, and we could well have a demolition job on our hands.

GOAL! REAL MADRID (Dos Santos OG 49) 2-0 Almeria

Well Ancelotti must have got into his players at half-time because they've started at a much quicker tempo... and they score again!

Good work from Jese to feed Kroos in down the right wing and his pass is diverted in by Ronaldo from six yards... or was it an own goal?

Either way, there was definitely a hint of offside in that one... but Real won't care.

SECOND HALF: Real Madrid 1-0 Almeria
HALF-TIME: Real Madrid 1-0 Almeria

So cruel on Almeria, who had been pretty comfortable before that incredible strike. They now face an almost impossible task, a goal down against Real at the Bernabeu.

GOAL! REAL MADRID (Rodriguez 44) 1-0 Almeria

Wow. Real Madrid haven't got going tonight (I was about to write a post about how Barcelona were 5-0 up at this point) but James Rodriguez produces a bit of individual magic to opening the scoring.

The ball bounces up to the Colombian who unleashes a stunning left-footed volley, dipping over the goalkeeper and into the top corner at some speed.

That was very World Cup-esque, if you don't mind me saying.


39mins: As bad as Real have been, credit must go to Almeria. Their work rate has been exceptional while they are passing and moving, not exactly looking like a side who are  sitting just above the relegation zone.

They have completed 184 passes so far today, which is a decent stat given it's not even half time yet.

Javier Hernandez races down the flank... but Real are struggling so far

31mins: But still, it's the visitors who are getting in behind more than Real. There are a few whistles in the crowd, and that's about the only atmosphere there is at this point.

Things may get better now though, it's Ronaldo time again with the dead ball... but oh dear. That sums it all up, a limp effort rises way over the crossbar.


27mins: Uh oh. Free-kick time. James is clipped from 30 yards out and Ronaldo is licking his lips. Can he spark this game into life?

Nearly! A swerving effort from left to right, the keeper is beaten but the ball doesn't quite dip in time and lands on the roof of the net.


24mins: Again, nice play from Almeria! Thomas, on loan from Atletico, shows his skills down the right before cutting the ball back for Corona, who fluffs his lines. Definitely a half chance for the visitors.

Real need to wake up.

Odegaard will be the youngest Real player of all time if he comes off the bench

19mins: Considering the pace Barcelona were playing at last night this is pretty, er... slow. Real haven't found their rhythm yet while Almeria are just letting them pass from side to side.


15mins: Few more shots for the visitors, but they're both from around 25 yards and Keylor Navas won't be worried by those. Still, they're getting forward while leaving enough men back to fend against what could be a devastating counter attack.


12mins: Better from Almeria. They've won two out of their last three and are trying to bring some of that confidence into this one.

Some sloppy passing from Illarramendi almost leads to a chance, as top scorer Hemed looks to get on the end of a cross.


7mins: Three shots already for the hosts, with Ronaldo having the latest two. No goals? Come on Cristiano!

First, he runs at the Almeria defence but his left-footed strike is straight at the keeper who flicks it behind - and then from the resulting corner he rises highest but that's ballooned over the bar.


3mins: Almeria have quite a bit of the ball early on but unsurprisingly it's Real who almost force the opening. Javier Hernandez gets space down the left flank and his first time ball is just inches away from Cristiano Ronaldo at the back post.

Soon after James meets Arbeloa's drilled cross from the right, but the goalkeeper can watch that one wide. Ominous signs for the visitors with all this space early on though...

KICK-OFF: Real Madrid 0-0 Almeria

Away we go! Real Madrid kicking from left to right in the first half.


The sun is shining at the Bernabeu, where Odegaard came out prior to kick-off to take a picture. Cute. Minutes until kick-off now, Madrid will be hoping to follow Barca's lead and turn on the style too.

Both sets of players wearing 'Todos Con Nepal' t-shirts in support of the victims of the Nepal earthquake, and there will also be a minute's silence.


Under the terms set out by Manchester United when they loaned the 26-year-old to Madrid, Thursday April 30 marks the end of the Spanish club's 'exclusivity period' to buy the player.

So, will he impress tonight?

Not a great omen for the visitors

Real Madrid have scored 21 goals in their last four games against Almeria, including an 8-1 victory at the Bernabeu two years ago.

Carlo Ancelotti has made nine changes tonight with  Iker Casillas, Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo dropping out, though there is still place for Cristiano Ronaldo and Javier Hernandez.

And on that note...


Real Madrid: Navas, Arbeloa, Pepe, Varane, Coentrao, Kroos, Illarramendi, Rodriguez, Ronaldo, Jese, Hernandez

Subs: Casillas, Marcelo, Nacho, Lucas Silva, Isco, Odegaard, Mayoral

Almeria: Ruben, Ximo, Trujillo, Mauro, Mane, Verza, Thomas, Corona, Dubarbier, Hemed, Edgar

Subs: Julian, Casado, Jonathan, Sanchez, Espinosa, Marin, Azeez

Referee: Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva 

Real Madrid teenagers Martin Odegaard and Borja Mayoral are on the bench tonight
Forget Ronaldo and Co...

It may only be a home clash against lowly Almeria, but tonight could be the biggest night of a 16-year-old's life.

Norwegian wonderkid Martin Odegaard has been named on the bench for this evening's La Liga game and may make his debut.

Before that though, there is the small matter of Real closing the gap on archrivals Barcelona. Team news coming up.

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