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Alavés revel in beautiful madness and pile pressure on Lopetegui’s Madrid | Sid Lowe


Manu García’s last-gasp goal gave Alavés their first home win over Real since 1931 as the visitors lost their third game in four

“I was crapping myself,” admitted Alavés coach Abelardo Fernández. A few metres to his right, so was Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui. When the board went up, a red five glistening in the rain, he shot wild, pained looks, head swivelling from side to side, performed that classic Italian fingertips-to-the-face gesture that says “what the …?!”, some baffling injustice served – artichoke hand, it’s called – and pleaded for more. “Five?!” he shouted, “por favor! por favor!” It was 0-0, Mendizorroza was bouncing, holding on for an historic draw and Lopetegui’s team were approaching seven hours without scoring. He was under pressure, desperate for one last shot at salvation, and five more minutes didn’t feel like long to get a goal.

As it turned out, it was just long enough.

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Athletic Bilbao 1-3 Real Sociedad, Leganés 1-0 Rayo Vallecano, Alavés 1-0 Real Madrid, Getafe 0-1 Levante, Girona 2-3 Eibar, Valencia 1-1 Barcelona, Sevilla 2-1 Celta Vigo, Espanyol 3-1 Villarreal, Atlético Madrid 1-0 Real Betis, real Valladolid 1-0 SD Huesca

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