Real Madrid get goals from unlikely duo Alaba, Vazquez to start LaLiga campaign with comeback win
Welcome to LaLiga. Summer signings Antonio Rudiger and Aurelien Tchouameni both started here for Real Madrid on matchday one and quickly found that there are no straightforward games, even against newly promoted teams.
Carlo Ancelotti had promised to rotate more this season and was true to his word, making five changes from the side that won the UEFA Super Cup last week over Eintracht Frankfurt. The result was a disjointed first-half performance as the team struggled to find its rhythm.
Those changes included three of Real Madrid's back four, with a new-look centre-back partnership of Nacho Fernandez and Rudiger, and the defence was left all at sea for Almeria's opening goal when an attempted offside trap was ruthlessly exposed by Largie Ramazani, leaving Rudiger in his wake. The Germany international did his best to compensate for that and went as close as any Madrid player to scoring with a first-half header.
Meanwhile, in midfield, Eduardo Camavinga was replicating some of the recklessly anarchic performances we saw last season when he started games -- rather than when his energy was channeled off the bench -- and Tchouameni was failing to exercise anything like the control Madrid are accustomed to seeing from Casemiro. Ancelotti looked to remedy the situation at halftime, hauling off Camavinga for Luka Modric, and Tchouameni followed him off after an hour.