Rodrygo double sends Real Madrid top at Cadiz


Rodrygo sent Real Madrid provisionally top of La Liga with two goals in a comfortable 3-0 win at Cadiz on Sunday.

The Brazilian winger also set up a goal for La Liga’s top scorer Jude Bellingham, who now has 11 to his name this season in the Spanish top flight.

Madrid climbed a point clear of high-flying Girona, who host Athletic Bilbao on Monday looking to reclaim top spot.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side also rose four points clear of fourth-placed rivals Barcelona, following their 1-1 draw at Rayo Vallecano on Saturday, and third-placed Atletico Madrid.

Madrid were dealt severe blows over the past fortnight with Vinicius Junior and Eduardo Camavinga suffering long-term injuries, joining Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao and Aurelien Tchouameni on the sidelines.

Despite that, Madrid secured a straightforward victory which is not something they take for granted after the international break, and less so with an injury-ravaged squad.

“Sometimes difficulty is just more motivation and the players understood that very well,” Ancelotti told reporters.

“All the absences that we have are important players, but we managed it well and the team was very good out there.”

The Italian coach started Toni Kroos in defensive midfield and brought veteran playmaker Luka Modric into the team for only his fifth start in La Liga.

Bellingham also returned after missing two league games and England’s Euro qualifiers with a shoulder injury.

Madrid dominated the opening stages and took the lead after 14 minutes when Rodrygo dribbled across the penalty area and curled a sumptuous strike into the top right corner.

The Brazilian struggled for goals at the start of the season but Ancelotti kept faith in him and with Vincius sidelined, he will be crucial for Madrid in the coming weeks.