A convincing performance from Real Madrid earned them a 2-0 win against Valencia, with a goal and an assist from Toni Kroos to guide the defending champions to a third straight La Liga win.
Right from the outset it was obvious Madrid were going to dominate. Lovely passing combinations and sequences, but immediate concern as Thierry Correia went with his studs on Karim Benzema’s achilles, fortunately for Madrid the Frenchman shook off what could have been a serious injury.
Real were finding spaces to shoot at the edge of the box, and the first came from Casemiro, who’s deflected effort on the carpet forced a good save from Jaume Doménech who had been wrong-footed. But the goal was coming, and with 11 minutes played, Benzema curled a beautiful shot into the far corner from the edge of the box to open the scoring as Real transitioned from their own box quickly.
If the hosts got lucky with Benzema’s early scare, they lost Dani Carvajal with a muscle injury at the half hour mark, the right-back pulling up and walking straight off in discomfort, to bring up injury number 36 for Madrid this season. The nice sequences continued and Lucas Vazquez came on and immediately looked well at home at right-back, he combined with Luka Modric and Marco Asensio, before Lucas teed up Kroos who side footed it past Domenech to double Real’s lead.
The closest Valencia came to any goal was when Maxi Gomez decided to have a pop from far-out, but Thibaut Courtois was alert enough to slap it away to safety, in the busiest he had been in the hour of play. Madrid were finding all sorts of joy with their quick combinations and off the ball movement, and it looked like it was 3-0 just after an hour.
Vinicius Junior and Ferland Mendy both in acres of space, and when Vini found Mendy in the box, the French left-back thought he had scored a great goal with his weak right-foot, though VAR intervened and adjudged the former Lyon defender’s heel to be in an offside position when he received the pass.
It was a coast from then on, Madrid had a few chances to score further goals, Mendy again found himself as the striker, this time his touch let him down and he couldn’t have an effort on goal, but while it was a professional performance by the champions, the visitors looked limp all game.
Up next for Real Madrid?
Who? Real Valladolid
When? Saturday 20th February @ 21:00 CET
Where? Estadio José Zorrilla