Vinicius Junior climbed off the bench to give Real Madrid victory over Valladolid and send a message to his manager Zinedine Zidane.
Vinicius had been left on the bench for the second game running but beat Valladolid’s former West Ham keeper Roberto Jimenez.
The Brazilian winger has struggled for goals over his last two seasons and so for all his youthful brilliance Zidane has overlooked him for big games including last season’s Champions League defeat by Manchester City.
Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior scores their first goal of the game with a close-range finish
Vinicius scores the opener against Real Valladolid’s Spanish goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez
Vinicius is surrounded by Real Madrid team-mates after scoring what turned out to be winner
But he finished well on 65 minutes and although he was offside the goal stood because the ball had reached him after hitting Valladolid defender Bruno Gonzalez.
It was a hard fought victory for Real Madrid with Serbian striker Luka Jovic again starting under Zidane, and again failing to find the net.
Real Madrid almost took the lead after 10 minutes when Valladolid keeper Roberto kept out Fede Valverde’s shot. The keeper changed direction well to get a right hand to the Uruguayan’s shot through a crowded area.
Real Madrid’s Vinicius celebrates with his team-mate Marco Asensio after breaking deadlock
Vinicius made the breakthrough in the 65th minute after the goal was checked by VAR
Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema (L) in action against Real Valladolid defender Javi Sanchez (R)
Marcelo, in the team for the first time this season, had created the danger with a blocked shot after he ran on to a Jovic cross. Jovic was bright early on. Madrid are still open to loaning out the Serbian forward to the right club but if he stays Zidane is determined to try to use the £62m signing.
He had his first chance on 17 minutes when some Luka Modric magic got Isco away and he released Valverde who crossed. Jovic sent his first time shot wide. Karim Benzema then had the chance to head goalwards from the back post but Isco, comically tried to climb above his team-mate and the chance was lost.
Valladolid had their chances but Pablo Hervias should have found Shon Weismann instead of drifting the ball to the back post. Fabio Orellano made the same mistake, shooting when he should have put the Israeli striker who top scored in Austria’s Bundesliga last season.
Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro looks to break the deadlock at Alfredo di Stefano stadium
Real Valladolid’s midfielder Waldo Rubio reacts during the encounter on Wednesday night
Three minutes after the restart Jovic climbed high in the area and his header looked to be creeping in at the far post by Roberto pulled out another top save. Weissman then went through for Valladolid but Thibaut Courtois dived full stretch to his right to turn his shot round the post.
Zidane had seen enough on the hour and took Jovic, Isco and Alvaro Odriozola off. With Eden Hazard watching, injured, from the stands he turned to Marco Asensio, Dani Carvajal and Vinicius.
It was Marcelo who had the chance to break the deadlock next. He cut in from the left and shot wild and wide right footed. His compatriot finished better from Madrid’s next attack.
Vinicius might have topped off his performance with the last attack when he raced clear but sent a soft finish into Roberto’s arms. It didn’t matter, Madrid had the points.
Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard makes his way to seat after being ruled out of match through injury
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane issues instructions to his side against Real Valladolid
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