Real Madrid opens La Liga with wild win despite Modric's red card (video)

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VIGO, SPAIN - AUGUST 17: Toni Kroos of Real Madrid CF celebrates after scoring the second goal of his team with his team mates during the Liga match between RC Celta de Vigo and Real Madrid CF at Abanca-Balaídos on August 17, 2019 in Vigo, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Gareth Bale (left) and Toni Kroos were both influential in Real Madrid's win over Celta Vigo. (Getty)

Nothing is ever routine at Real Madrid. Except maybe winning.

Gareth Bale — yes, that Gareth Bale — set up the first goal and Toni Kroos launched a rocket response to a Luka Modrić red card as Real Madrid beat Celta Vigo 3-1 at the Balaídos on Saturday.

Where do we start?

For one, manager Zinedine Zidane spent all summer taking potshots at Bale through the media and openly urging the star winger to leave the club. So naturally, with Galácticos signing Eden Hazard out injured, Zidane put Bale back in his starting XI.

The decision paid quick dividends as Bale made a couple moves down the left side and slid a cross into Karim Benzema, who stabbed it home in the 12th minute (via beIN SPORTS):

Real Madrid stayed on the front foot but went down to 10 men in the 56th minute, when Modrić inadvertently stepped on Denis Suárez’s heel with his challenge:

(Via beIN SPORTS)
(Via beIN SPORTS)

So what did Real Madrid do? More specifically, what did Kroos do?

Responded with this golazo five minutes later:

Lucas Vázquez put the game out of reach with a third goal in the 80th minute, while Iker Losada pulled one back for Celta Vigo in stoppage time.

Luka Jović, the 21-year-old Serbian striker who was one of Real Madrid’s *other* big summer signings, made his debut by coming on for Benzema in the final 10 minutes.

Thanks to Barcelona’s stunning loss at Athletic Bilbao on Friday, Real Madrid already has a leg up in the La Liga title race, and frequently the thinnest margins separate the two rivals.

How Real Madrid earned all three points was a bit unorthodox. Do they do things any other way?

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