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22.12.2013 » Valencia 2-3 Real Madrid. Jesé winning goal keeps the chase going

Real Madrid line-up in La Liga 2013-2014 against Valencia

Real Madrid said goodbye to 2013 with a crucial win in Valencia, on a title run that is still led by Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. "Los Blancos" pulled off a tough 2-3 away win, with goals from Angel Di María, Cristiano Ronaldo and Jesé Rodríguez.

With this year's Christmas and New Year's eve holidays coming up, the Merengues knew how vital it was to collect the 3 points from this Sunday's clash against Valencia CF in order to keep the pressure on both Atletico Madrid and Barcelona. However, the hosts were very close to cause an upset at the Mestalla, but thanks to a goal from Jesé Rodríguez already inside the last 10 minutes of the game, Real Madrid managed to return to the Spanish capital with the much-needed 3 points. The other two goals were scored by Angel Di María and Cristiano Ronaldo, both in the first half. With this win, Real Madrid keeps the gap to Atletico Madrid and Barcelona at 5 points and that's how things will stay at least until January 5 of 2014...

Cristiano Ronaldo game photos in Valencia vs Real Madrid
Valencia 2-3 Real Madrid goals and highlights video:

With Gareth Bale unavailable to give his contribution to the team in this game, it was up to Angel Di María to fill in for the former Tottenham star. The Argentinian played that role almost perfectly during the first half of the game and even got to break the deadlock around the 28th minute, in a beautiful individual play. The 25-year old winger received a long pass by Marcelo close to the sideline, took on a defender as he cutted inside and brilliantly struck the ball past Guaita to make it 0-1 to Real Madrid. That was Angel Di María's second league goal this season and his sixth in all competitions, all this even though he hasn't been getting much playing time lately due to Gareth Bale's rise on the team...

Valencia's response came in just 6 minutes later, when the hosts left-back Bernat came down the left wing to put a perfect cross right into Real Madrid box. Surprisingly, the pass has been targeted to Pablo Piatti, the Valencia winger with only 1,63 meters of height. The Argentinian player has beaten his direct marker Sergio Ramos when attacking the empty space and easily headed the ball past Diego López to level things at the Mestalla.

Six minutes later, close to the 40th minute of the first-half, Real Madrid would regain the lead once again and it would be Cristiano Ronaldo leaving his mark this time. The Portuguese forward met a cross made by Di María on the right and scored his 4th header goal of the season. Ronaldo was actually a few inches offside by the time Di María made the pass, but fortunately for the Merengues, there wasn't any call being made and therefore the goal stood as valid.

Cristiano Ronaldo closing his eyes

Half-time came around with Real Madrid in front of the game, but as we started the second half, Valencia were clearly not giving any signs of being close to drop their arms just yet. It took them 15 minutes to get a new equalizer and they got to it from a corner-kick. Just like they had done in the first goal, Valencia explored Sergio Ramos bad marking and lack of focus to make the visitors pay. This time it was Mathieu who reached to the ball before Ramos and even Diego López couldn't help to look bad in the picture, as he clearly left the feeling that he could have done slightly better to either intercept the cross or simply stop the header.

Anyhow, we were back to square one and Ancelotti had to change something in the team in order to reach the much-needed winning goal. In the 77th minute of the game, the Italian manager replaced Isco for Jesé Rodríguez and his audacity ended paying off just 3 minutes later. The "Canterano" picked up a pass on the right made by Luka Modric and fired the ball with confidence towards the near post. Valencia goalkeeper Guaita, who was most likely counting with either a shot to the far post or a short cross to the middle of the box, failed to block the shot and the ball from going in. Real Madrid had just pulled off a dramatic 2-3 away win in Valencia and assured that neither Barça or Atletico Madrid will enter the new year more than 5 points ahead in La Liga standings.

Ronaldo didn't play a great game, as he still seems to be looking to pick up that outstanding form he was into just before getting injured a few weeks ago. Nevertheless, the 28-year old forward has set a new personal record for goals scored in a calendar year, as he got to score 69 goals throughout 2013. This season, he's currently La Liga's 2nd top goalscorer with 18 goals scored, just one behind Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa, 8 more than Pedro and 10 more than Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

Jesé Rodríguez goal, in Valencia 2-3 Real Madrid

Real Madrid line-up vs Valencia:

Goalkeeper: Diego López
Defenders: Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Nacho, Arbeloa
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso, Modric, Isco
Attackers: Angel Di María, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema.

Match stats provided by www.ronaldo7.net
Valencia
vs
Real Madrid
2
Goals
3
12
Shots
12
6
Shots on goal
5
3
Corner kicks
6
12
Fouls commited
13
2
Yellow cards
2
0
Red cards
0
32%
Ball possession
68%

Cristiano Ronaldo next game will be in Real Madrid against PSG, in the club's first friendly game of 2014 (January 2). You can watch Real Madrid vs PSG, Barça live, Arsenal vs Chelsea and Miami Heat vs Atlanta Hawks, all matches provided from our live streaming section.

Real Madrid next game:
Real Madrid vs PSG
kick-off time (02-01-2014):

Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+7: 02:00
Spain
(Madrid) | GMT+2: 21:00
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+1: 20:00
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-3: 16:00
New York (United States) | GMT-4: 15:00
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-7: 12:00
Beijing (China) | GMT+8: 03:00

Sources: ronaldo7.net / realmadrid.com / bbc.co.uk / kicker.de

Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid blue kit

Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo lost in translation

Angel Di María celebrating goal for Real Madrid 2013-2014

Xabi Alonso putting his thumbs up, in Real Madrid 2013-2014

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