Real Madrid flattened crisis talk for a second week in a row with an impressive 4-1 win away to Valencia, their first at the Mestalla in five years.
Zidane’s side came into this game on the back of a 7-1 drubbing of Deportivo, however, they also suffered a shock Copa Del Rey exit to Leganes midweek, putting further pressure on the Frenchman’s job. Valencia on the other hand were without their two centre backs after both were sent off in a 2-1 defeat away to Las Palmas.
The game was played out in quite a frantic pace with both sides have a few half chances to score. Gareth Bale nearly volleyed home an opener when their was a mix up between a Valencia defender and the goalkeeper, the Welshman’s volley however was skewed and fell right into the grateful hands of Neto.
It would be just a few minutes later when Madrid did finally take the lead, from a Valencia corner, Real Madrid broke through the infamous BBC. Benzema had played through Ronaldo and Madrid’s number seven was taken down in the box by Martian Montoya. The referee pointed to the spot and Ronaldo coolly converted. Los Blancos took alot of momentum from that goal and spent a solid period of the game probing the Valencia box.
Ironically, they wouldn’t score a second until Valencia had retaken control of the game. The second goal once again came from the spot after Benzema was charged into by Garay. Ronaldo placed his penalty in the oppisite corner for his 100th career goal from the penalty spot.
Valencia would have felt aggrieved to be 2-0 down at half time with more than a few chances falling their way. The best of the bunch was Rodrigo blasting a Santi Mina cross over the crossbar with Keylor Navas beaten.
Valencia did eventually get their goal with Santa Mina taking advantage of a defensive mishap to halve the hosts deficit. Ten minutes later and the hosts and Dani Parejo nearly equalized after a great series of short passes outside the Madrid area set him up for a shot on goal only to be denied the a fanstastic save from the Costa Rican shot stopper.
Momentum then swung the other way with Madrid having an equally clear cut chance, Gareth Bale beat his marker for pace and whipped a low cross into the feet of Ronaldo, whose shot was gathered by a scampering Neto. Another Madrid chance quickly followed, Modric once again feeding Ronaldo with similar cross only for the shot to go over the bar.
Valencia seemed to have come unstuck after dominating periods of game and they paid for their lack of a clinical touch. Madrid’s third goal came from a some one-two play between Marcelo and subsitute Asensio that played the full back in on goal. Marcelo shot went through Neto’s legs at the near post and wrapped the points up for Madrid.
Los Blancos really rubbed the hosts noses in it with a brilliant fourth goal. This one also saw Zidane’s subsitutes play a part, Kovacic linked up with Toni Kroos and set the German up in his favoured position outside of the box with a fabulous flick. Kroos dispatched the shot with an cold efficiency and rounded off an emphatic win for the captial side
Real Madrid move within two points of Valencia in third place, with a game in hand while Valencia lose even further ground on Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in first and second place.