MADRID — Real Madrid beat Cadiz 2-1 in LaLiga on Thursday to close the gap on leaders Barcelona to two points going into the World Cup break.

Eder Militao put Madrid ahead in the 40th minute at the Bernabeu, heading Toni Kroos‘ delivery into the bottom corner. Kroos doubled the home side’s lead in the second half with a spectacular finish, volleying in from outside the box, before Lucas Perez pulled a late goal back for the visitors.

JUMP TO: Player ratings | Best/worst performers | Highlights and notable moments | Post-match quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures

Rapid reaction

1. Madrid bounce back after two disappointments

Real Madrid‘s last two LaLiga games — a 1-1 draw with Girona and Monday’s 3-2 loss at Rayo Vallecano — had left them with no more margin for error.

A win against relegation-threatened Cadiz was a must to stay in touch with Barcelona at the top and end this first stage of the season in a positive mood. Anything less, and it would feel like a long seven-week break for the World Cup until domestic football returns at the end of December.

Los Blancos got that win, with Militao’s opener rewarding a dominant first-half display and Kroos’ goal adding to the sense of security before Perez’s late strike made for some nervy final minutes.

There’s no question that Madrid aren’t looking the same, clinical force they did earlier in the season, but that’s understandable given the relentless schedule of the last six weeks. Now they can look to reset, recover and come back after Christmas to chase down Barca.

2. Kroos at his best with a goal and assist

Toni Kroos is quietly having one of the best seasons of his career. It might be his last, too.

We still don’t know if the 32-year-old midfielder will retire next summer, when his current contract is due to expire. Kroos says even he hasn’t decided yet, other than guaranteeing that he won’t play for another club. But to quit now, in this kind of form, would be an awful shame.

His pass for Militao’s header here was vintage Kroos — placed exactly where he wanted it — and the goal he scored himself on the volley was right up there with the best he’s scored at this stadium.

Kroos had more touches (111) than any player on the pitch and completed 88 of his 95 attempted passes. Kroos hasn’t always got the headlines he deserves — playing alongside Luka Modric might not have helped — but if this is to be his swansong season, let’s hope that changes.

3. Militao’s aerial power a useful goal threat

It’s now three league goals this season for Eder Militao. All three — against Getafe, Rayo and now Cadiz — have been scored with his head.

It’s more goals than the centre-back managed in his previous three seasons at Real Madrid, having found the net just once in LaLiga in 2020-21 and again in 2021-22. There’s no reason why Militao shouldn’t add a few more before this season is over.

This goal was perhaps the most straightforward he’ll ever score — Cadiz got their offside trap wrong, leaving Militao completely alone and able to guide his header into the corner — but the Brazil defender has the physique to cause problems under more challenging circumstances too, as he showed with his goals in a crowded six-yard box against Getafe and Rayo.

Madrid have two of the best dead-ball delivery specialists around in Kroos and Modric, and right now Militao is probably their best option as a target.

Player ratings

Real Madrid: Thibaut Courtois 7; Lucas Vazquez 7, Eder Militao 8, David Alaba 7, Ferland Mendy 6; Aurelien Tchouameni 7, Toni Kroos 9, Luka Modric 7; Fede Valverde 7, Vinicius Junior 7, Rodrygo Goes 7.

Subs: Dani Ceballos 6, Eduardo Camavinga 6, Nacho Fernandez 6.

Cadiz: Jeremias Ledesma 7; Isaac Carcelen 6, Fali Jimenez 6, Juan Cala 5, Pacha Espino 6; Ruben Alcaraz 6, Fede San Emeterio 6, Alex Fernandez 6; Ivan Alejo 5, Choco Lozano 6, Ruben Sobrino 6.

Subs: Theo Bongonda 6, Brian Ocampo 6, Lucas Perez 7, Jose Mari 6, Alvaro Negredo 7.

Best and worst performers

BEST: Toni Kroos, Real Madrid

A nearly flawless performance. Scored, assisted and ran the show.

WORST: Ivan Alejo, Cadiz

Offered very little in attack and was withdrawn early.

Highlights and notable moments

Just before halftime, Cadiz learned a valuable lesson: If you leave Militao unmarked on a cross, he might just head it in.

That’s exactly what he did, of course.



Éder Militão nods home header vs. Cádiz

Kroos doubled Real Madrid’s pleasure scoring a lovely volley in the 70th minute.

That goal would be the game-winner once Cadiz pulled one back.



Toni Kroos hammers home the half-volley to give Real Madrid a two-goal lead.

After the match: What the players and managers said

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti on Luka Modric missing a second-half sitter: “I told him it was just as well that the Croatia squad had already been announced!”

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos on his goal: “The way the ball came to me, I couldn’t hit it with my in-step. It turned out well, I could help the team with the goal, and we’re happy… I think we played a good game except for the last ten minutes, but we could have scored a third. It’s a deserved win, we controlled the game.”

Kroos on Cadiz targeting of Vinicius: “It’s normal, opponents defend in their own way. We’re calm, we focus on playing football. If we react, we get into their game, we lose time with each argument, I prefer to stay outside of that and play football, because we’re the better team.”

Rodrygo on Fali’s foul on him, for which he received a yellow card: “He did it on purpose. He looked at me and then hit me. It’s shameful. He said he didn’t do anything. I don’t know what the VAR is there for. It’s shameful, it’s aggression, there’s no place for it in football.”

Key stats (via ESPN Stats & Info)

  • Militão has seven career goals for Real Madrid in all competitions, and all of them have come via headers. His goal against Cadiz marked the first time he’s ever cored in consecutive games in his career.

  • The goal by Lucas Perez for Cadiz was Real Madrid’s first error that led to a goal in LaLiga this season. At the moment, only six teams have yet to concede such a goal, including rivals Barcelona.

  • Real Madrid are the only LaLiga team unbeaten at home this season in all competitions (9-0-2, W-L-D).

Up next

Real Madrid: Los Blancos are done until after the World Cup in Qatar. On New Year’s Eve they will pick up where they left off in LaLiga action, heading to Valladolid to face Real Valladolid on Dec, 31. That will air on ESPN+ in the U.S. but a time has not yet been set.

Cadiz: Los Piratas will squeeze one more match in before the World Cup kicks off when Cadiz head to Guipuzcoa, Spain to face Real Union Irun in the Spanish Copa del Rey. After that, they will host Manchester United for a club friendly on Wednesday, Dec. 7. Cadiz return to LaLiga action on December 31.

Source link

Toni Kroos leads Real Madrid bounce-back win in style

For watching live sports, visit

BoomTV offers exceptional live TV service with the highest iptv standards.

Never miss a live sports event, catchup on all your tv shows and get access to all the latest movies out there.


site logo - Replay Madness watch now button watch online stream vector eps 10 isolated white background 399089 15863 - Replay Madness