Vinicius returns as Real Madrid ease past Las Palmas


Joselu's header doubles Real Madrid's lead

Joselu picks out the far corner with his header to give Real Madrid a 2-0 lead over Las Palmas.

Real Madrid bounced back from their painful derby loss with a 2-0 home LaLiga win over lowly Las Palmas on Wednesday thanks to goals from Brahim Díaz and Joselu.

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti made five changes to the starting side outclassed by Atletico Madrid 3-1 on Sunday, resting LaLiga's top scorer Jude Bellingham and giving new recruit Diaz his first start of the season.

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The hosts were by far superior side but squandered more than a dozen clear-cut chances in the first half, with Diaz and Joselu missing sitters from close range.

They were also frustrated by goalkeeper Álvaro Valles who made a number of fine saves before Diaz broke the deadlock with a close-range strike deep into first-half stoppage time.

Substitute Lucas Vázquez, on for the injured David Alaba, delivered a low cross from inside the box to Diaz who unleashed an unstoppable strike into the top corner of the net.

Alaba added to Madrid's injury woes with Thibaut Courtois and Éder Militão probably out for the rest of the season.

Arda Güler, who was expected to be available against Las Palmas after recovering from a knee operation, sustained a thigh injury in training that will further delay his debut for the team.

However, there was better news with Brazil attacker Vinícius Júnior making his return off the bench after a month out, while Ferland Mendy returned to the starting lineup and Dani Carvajal was an unused substitute.

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"We'll think about the good side, which is we've got Mendy back, we'll get Carvajal back. Rudiger had a knock," Ancelotti said. "He thinks he'll be fine for Saturday. Alaba won't be there, he has an abductor problem, and we'll see over the next few days what we can do for Saturday."

He added: "For now we have Rudiger and Nacho, who finished today, let's see how they recover. Marvel from the academy has trained with us, [Álvaro] Carrillo, they're very good. Right now we don't have another option. Let's see. I think Rudiger will be fine."

Joselu extended Real's lead in the 54th minute, nodding a lobbed cross from Rodrygo into the net and the hosts comfortably closed out victory.

"We created a lot of chances. I think we should have scored more but we played a very complete game and after a defeat it's always nice to win, especially at home," Diaz told Movistar Plus.

Madrid moved up to second place on 18 points, leapfrogging third-placed Barcelona who were held to a 2-2 draw by Mallorca on Tuesday.

Girona are the surprise leaders on 19 points after they fought back to win 2-1 at Villarreal on Wednesday and remain unbeaten after seven games of the LaLiga season.