Spanish La Liga
Real Madrid2Córdoba0

Real Madrid 2-0 Cordoba

European champions Real Madrid began their bid to take the Spanish title from neighbours Atletico Madrid with a nervy opening La Liga win over Cordoba.

New signings James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos were named alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in a star-studded starting XI for Madrid.

The hosts outplayed the newly promoted side before half-time and led through Karim Benzema's thumping header.

Cordoba improved but Ronaldo's late strike from distance eased the tension.

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A few whistles could be heard from the Bernabeu stands before the world player of the year drilled into the bottom corner in the final minute.

Madridistas have seen their team win La Liga just once in the last six seasons after finishing third behind Atletico and arch-rivals Barcelona in a thrilling title race last season.

Carlo Ancelotti's men made amends by beating Atletico in the Champions League final as they were crowned European champions for a record 10th time, and responded to their league failure by spending over £100m on new players this summer.

The bulk of that lavish outlay was spent on World Cup winner Kroos and tournament top scorer Rodriguez, from Bayern Munich and Monaco respectively. However they lost to Atletico in the Spanish Super Cup last week.

Stat attack
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 30 goals from outside the area in La Liga since the 2009-10 season - more than any other player.
Karim Benzema scored his first headed goal in a La Liga game since March's match against Barcelona.
Cordoba have lost all nine away league games against Real Madrid, conceding at least twice in eight of these defeats.

In contrast, Cordoba's low-budget side - managed by ex-Barcelona and Chelsea defender Albert Ferrer - consisted largely of free transfers and loan signings. But the huge financial gulf between the two clubs was not always evident, particularly in the early part of the second half when Cordoba threatened to equalise.

Substitute Xisco, remembered by English fans for an unsuccessful spell at Newcastle, stuck the ball in the Madrid net from a rebound but turned to see his effort ruled out for offside.

Cristiano Ronaldo's late goal means he has scored against every team he has faced in La Liga

And, despite a plucky effort by the visitors, it was ultimately Madrid's extra attacking quality which proved the difference.

While Rodriguez, who joined for a fee rising to £71m, barely threatened before being substituted in the second half, Germany midfielder Kroos, a reported £24m signing, made a greater impact on his league debut.

He clipped in the corner which allowed France striker Benzema to climb highest inside a packed Cordoba penalty area and powerfully nod in from eight yards.

That looked set to be the only goal until Ronaldo's speculative effort ended Cordoba's hopes in their first Spanish top-flight game since 1972.

Line-ups

Real Madrid

  • 1Casillas
  • 17ArbeloaSubstituted forCarvajalat 73'minutes
  • 3Pepe
  • 4Ramos
  • 12Marcelo
  • 19Modric
  • 8Kroos
  • 10RodríguezSubstituted forIscoat 72'minutes
  • 11Bale
  • 9BenzemaBooked at 72minsSubstituted forKhediraat 76'minutes
  • 7Ronaldo

Substitutes

  • 2Varane
  • 6Khedira
  • 13Navas
  • 14Alonso
  • 15Carvajal
  • 23Isco
  • 24Illarramendi

Córdoba

  • 1Martín Corral
  • 17Gunino
  • 12López
  • 2Pantic
  • 3Crespo
  • 22López GaraiBooked at 59mins
  • 7Rossi
  • 20Matos SantosSubstituted forChaves de la Torreat 62'minutes
  • 19López de Silva Sánchez
  • 29PinillosBooked at 18minsSubstituted forNicolás Cartabiaat 45'minutes
  • 24HavenaarSubstituted forJiménez Tejadaat 67'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Bouzón Amoedo
  • 5Ekeng Ekeng
  • 9Jiménez Tejada
  • 10Nicolás Cartabia
  • 13Saizar
  • 16Chaves de la Torre
  • 23Gómez Moreno
Referee:
Jesús Gil Manzano
Attendance:
70,356

Match Stats

Home TeamReal MadridAway TeamCórdoba
Possession
Home64%
Away36%
Shots
Home14
Away8
Shots on Target
Home8
Away2
Corners
Home8
Away5
Fouls
Home9
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Real Madrid 2, Córdoba 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Real Madrid 2, Córdoba 0.
Attempt missed. Fidel (Córdoba) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Goal!

Goal! Real Madrid 2, Córdoba 0. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Isco.
Offside, Real Madrid. Luka Modric tries a through ball, but Cristiano Ronaldo is caught offside.
Attempt blocked. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Toni Kroos.
Pepe (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by López Garai (Córdoba).
Corner, Córdoba. Conceded by Sergio Ramos.
Attempt saved. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Cristiano Ronaldo with a cross.
Marcelo (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Fede (Córdoba).

Substitution

Substitution, Real Madrid. Sami Khedira replaces Karim Benzema.
Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by José Ángel Crespo.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Real Madrid. Daniel Carvajal replaces Álvaro Arbeloa.

Substitution

Substitution, Real Madrid. Isco replaces James Rodríguez.
Delay in match Fausto Rossi (Córdoba) because of an injury.

Booking

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) is shown the yellow card.
Offside, Córdoba. Fidel tries a through ball, but Xisco is caught offside.
Attempt saved. Fidel (Córdoba) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Fausto Rossi.
Attempt missed. Aleksandar Pantic (Córdoba) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Xisco with a headed pass following a corner.
Corner, Córdoba. Conceded by Toni Kroos.
Foul by Toni Kroos (Real Madrid).
Fede (Córdoba) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Luka Modric (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Fidel (Córdoba).

Substitution

Substitution, Córdoba. Xisco replaces Mike Havenaar.
Offside, Real Madrid. Luka Modric tries a through ball, but Cristiano Ronaldo is caught offside.
Pepe (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Mike Havenaar (Córdoba).
Offside, Real Madrid. Sergio Ramos tries a through ball, but Gareth Bale is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Córdoba. Fidel replaces Ryder Matos.
Attempt saved. James Rodríguez (Real Madrid) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Booking

López Garai (Córdoba) is shown the yellow card.
Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by José Ángel Crespo.
Foul by Gareth Bale (Real Madrid).
Ryder Matos (Córdoba) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. James Rodríguez (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Karim Benzema.
James Rodríguez (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Fausto Rossi (Córdoba).
Foul by Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid).
López Silva (Córdoba) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt saved. Ryder Matos (Córdoba) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt missed. Aleksandar Pantic (Córdoba) header from the left side of the six yard box is too high. Assisted by Fausto Rossi with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Córdoba. Conceded by Álvaro Arbeloa.
Foul by Toni Kroos (Real Madrid).
Fede (Córdoba) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
James Rodríguez (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Fede (Córdoba).
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Mike Havenaar (Córdoba).
Corner, Córdoba. Conceded by Marcelo.

Second Half

Second Half begins Real Madrid 1, Córdoba 0.

Substitution

Substitution, Córdoba. Fede replaces Daniel Pinillos.

Half Time

First Half ends, Real Madrid 1, Córdoba 0.
Offside, Real Madrid. James Rodríguez tries a through ball, but Cristiano Ronaldo is caught offside.
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by José Ángel Crespo (Córdoba).
Attempt missed. Mike Havenaar (Córdoba) header from very close range is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Fausto Rossi with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Córdoba. Conceded by Álvaro Arbeloa.
goal