Second half goals from Marco Asensio and Vinicius Junior were enough for Real Madrid to fend off a ten-man Valencia team in La Liga.
Real Madrid almost took the lead inside the opening three minutes, when Valencia’s pourous defence was exposed by a wonderful through ball from Luka Modric. The pass played Marco Asensio clean through on goal, but the Spanish international’s subsequent effort on goal was well saved by Giorgi Mamardashvili.
15 minutes later Asensio was denied the opener again, this time by ex-Arsenal man Gabriel Paulista. The centre-back did brilliantly to dive in front of Asensio’s strike from around the penalty spot to keep the score a 0-0.
Eduardo Camavinga was next to go close for Los Blancos, firing into the side-netting from the left-hand side of the box.
The home side thought they’d finally broke the deadlock in added time at the end of the first half thanks to Antonio Rudiger. The German international tracked Luka Modric corner kick from the left to head into the net, but the goal was disallowed after a VAR check on a Karim Benzema ‘foul’.
Los Blancos came out of the traps well at the start of the second half and deservedly took the lead through Asensio in the 52nd minute. The wide forward cannoned the ball into the top left corner of the net from outside of the box, leaving Mamardashvili rooted to the spot.
90 seconds later it was 2-0.
This time it was Vinicius Junior who’d find the net, bursting down the left flank before side-footing into the right corner of the net.
Things went from bad to worse for Valencia in the 71st minute when Gabriel Paulista was sent off for an utterly despicable kick out at Vinicius Junior. A thuggish, rather pathetic, action from the ex-Arsenal man.
GK – Thibaut Courtois – 5/10 – Had literally nothing to do.
RB – Nacho Fernandez – 6/10 – Got forward on his side well.
CB – Eder Militao – N/A – Subbed with an injury in the first half.
CB – Antonio Rudiger – 6/10 – Scored an offside goal and had basically nothing to do in the defensive third.
LB – Eduardo Camavinga – 7/10 – Looks like he’s found a position he can call home at left-back.
CM – Luka Modric – 7/10 – His usual self.
CM – Toni Kroos – 5/10 – He doesn’t look as comfortable in the defensive midfield position.
CM – Dani Ceballos – 6/10 – Did well again in midfield.
RW – Marco Asensio – 8/10 – Missed a few chances in the first half but more than made up for them in the second with a stunning goal.
ST – Karim Benzema – 7/10 – His passing was as good as ever,
LW – Vinicius Junior – 8/10 – Scored a wonderful goal to seal the win.
SUB – Dani Carvajal – 6/10.
SUB – Rodrygo Goes – 6/10.
SUB – Federico Valverde – N/A.
SUB – Aurelien Tchouameni – N/A.