Football: Kroos winner rescues Ronaldo-less Real Madrid

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale and Celta Vigo's Theo Bongonda (left), John Guidetti and Jonny Castro (right) in action on Aug 27, 2016.
Real Madrid's Gareth Bale and Celta Vigo's Theo Bongonda (left), John Guidetti and Jonny Castro (right) in action on Aug 27, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

(AFP) - Real Madrid shrugged off the absence of the injured Cristiano Ronaldo to extend their perfect start to the season and a La Liga win streak to 14 games with a 2-1 defeat of Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Alvaro Morata looked to have Real on their way to another three points when he eventually broke Celta's resistence by smashing home on the hour mark.

Fabian Orellana curled home a spectacular equaliser 24 minutes from time, but Toni Kroos's sublime low strike in off the inside of the post secured all three points for the hosts 10 minutes from time.

"We played so-so today," said Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane.

"I am left with the fact the players believed until the end and we achieved what we wanted.

Ronaldo was still absent from the knee ligament injury that forced him off during Portugal's Euro 2016 final victory over France.

In his absence, Gareth Bale was expected to lead Real to another comfortable win after continuing his sensational form with Wales at the Euros with two goals in a 3-0 victory at Real Sociedad last weekend.

However, Bale endured a frustrating night and it was another former Tottenham Hotspur star in Luka Modric who shone in a tight first half with two long-range efforts that forced Sergio Alvarez into fine saves, while a third effort from the Croatian came back off the bar.

Celta were without both their top scorers from last season with Iago Aspas left on the bench and Nolito having departed for Manchester City.

Earlier, Valencia's disastrous start to the campaign continued as they lost 0-1 at Basque minnows Eibar to follow-up a 4-2 thrashing at home by Las Palmas on Monday.

Pedro Leon scored the only goal of the game with Valencia missing captain Paco Alcacer ahead of his expected move to Barcelona.

Luis Enrique's side travel to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.