Exciting game at the Alfredo Di Stéfano stadium between two of the biggest clubs and rivalries in Spain, Real Madrid and Valencia. Home team Madrid was forced to get the three points as Barça had already won their week´s match against Leganés. On the other side, Valencia also needed to at least add a point as they can´t afford to loose more points if they want to stay in the battle for European positions.

Both coaches presented news on their systems: Zidane´s team returned to the 4-4-2 system with two important changes regarding to their debut against Eibar, as Mendy started on the left back and Valverde did so in the midfield. Celades also came out on a 4-4-2 system where he punished defender Diakhaby for his poor performance on their last meet versus Levante, and he decided to put Mangala in the defense. Kondogbia was chosen to play along Parejo in the middle and Ferran Torres went back to the right wing. This way, it was very clear that both coaches prioritized to strengthen their midfields, as they were aware of the fact that their options to get the win would mostly based on that area of the field.

Madrid started off on the opponents half, mostly boosted by Valencia mistakes in the middle. Haazard had the first chance that keeper Cillesen saved. The match was clearly influenced by errors on the pass in the midfield that ended up on fast offensive transitions by both teams: the next one to confirm this dynamic was Valencia, which was close to score after an outstanding pass by Maxi Gómez from the middle that forward Rodrigo received and sent a crossed shot right in front of Courtois, but Belgian keeper touched it slightly and the ball hit the post.  

VAR tension came up through a Valencia´s goal by Rodrigo that was disallowed correctly from an outside of Maxi Gómez. The meet kept its high rhythm throughout the entire first half at the same time as chances happened constantly, with one for Madrid´s right back Carvajal that Cillesen saved, and another one by Valencia´s midfielder Kondogbia, who took a tough shot from outside the box that Courtois saved as well. This way, the scoreboard stayed at zero at the break incomprehensibly.

Madrid forced Valencia to back down, but they were unable to finish their chances. Valencia did not literally passed the half line and Madrid finally found the way to open up the scoreboard: Ramos stole the ball on his side, hazard and Modric made a good combination and the Belgian assisted Benzema, who crossed a great shot to put the 1-0. Valencia went down physically after the break, and the only thing that took time for Madrid was to put the game away.

The best news was Marcos Asensio´s return after a ten-month knee injury. He only needed ten seconds to seal the deal: Mendy crossed it from the left and Asensio finished it with his left foot on the first ball he touched. There was still time for another one for Benzema, who took a tough shot to make the final 3-0. Madrid keep chasing Barcelona.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here