Real Madrid 4-1 Valencia
A landmark strike from Karim Benzema helped Real Madrid return to winning ways in LaLiga, while Vinicius Junior netted a brace.
Real Madrid Starting XI
(4-3-3): Courtois; Lucas Vazquez (Nacho, min. 87), Militao, Alaba, Mendy;
Kroos, Casemiro (Camavinga, min. 71), Modric (Ceballos, min. 70);
Asensio, Benzema (Isco, min. 89), Vinicius (Valverde, min. 87).
Valencia Starting XI
(4-4-2) Cillessen; Piccini (Iranzo, min. 77), Diakhaby, Alderete, Gaya;
Costa (Marcos Andre, min. 66), Guillamon, Daniel Wass, Gonacalo Guedes (Cheryshev, min. 66);
Yunus Musah, Maxi Gomez (Koba Lein, min. 66; Manu Vallejo, min. 83).
REAL MADRID LEAD! Befitting a man at the top of his game, Benzema steps up and strikes a right-footed penalty into the top corner, with power and precision in equal measure. 1-0 to Madrid!
With typical directness and a small slice of fortune, Vinicius extends the hosts’ lead. Combining with Benzema on the edge of the box, he then dances through some slack Valencia challenges to force his way through and slot the ball home from no more than 10 yards. 2-0 to Madrid, and they are in complete control. 2-0
Suddenly, the hosts look like they can score every time they go forward, and Vinicius taps in his second goal from close range after Cillessen can only parry Asensio’s right-sided shot into his path. That was as simple as it gets – surely that’s game over now. 3-0
Guedes misses from the spot but is first to react when Courtois makes the save low down to his right and prods home the visitors’ first goal of the game. It’s all too late for Valencia, though that offers some small consolation. 3-1
Slipping his marker before turning neatly to evade the desperately back-tracking Gaya, the cool-headed Benzema takes an extra touch before firing into the bottom corner from the centre of the box. That’s his second and his team’s fourth! Los Blancos are going eight points clear at the top. 4-1
Key Opta facts
– Real Madrid have won their last three games against Valencia in LaLiga, their best run against them in the competition since another trio of consecutive wins between 2009 and 2011.
– Real Madrid have 49 points after 21 games in LaLiga, their best tally at this stage of the competition since 2016-17 (52), when they ended up lifting the trophy.
– Vinicius has scored his fourth brace for Real Madrid this season in all competitions, the first one at Santiago Bernabeu. He scored just one brace before this season: against Liverpool at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano in April 2021.
He is the first Brazilian to score three braces in the same LaLiga season for Real Madrid since Robinho in 2007-08 campaign (also three).
– Vinicius has been involved in a goal every 101.6 minutes this season for Madrid in all competitions (14 goals and 7 assists), his best minutes-per-goal-involvement ratio in a single season for Los Blancos.
– Vinicius and Benzema scored a brace against Valencia. The last time two different Madrid players scored twice in the same LaLiga game was in January 2018 against Deportivo La Coruna (Gareth Bale, Nacho Fernandez and Cristiano Ronaldo).
Los Blancos take on arch-rivals Barcelona in the Supercopa de Espana on Wednesday, while Valencia are next in action a week on Sunday
when they visit Atletico Baleares in the Copa del Rey.
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