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15.01.2013 » Real Madrid 2-0 Valencia. Mission half accomplished at the Bernabéu

Karim Benzema scoring the opening goal against Valencia, at the Santiago Bernabéu, in 2013

Real Madrid pulled off an important win against Valencia at the Santiago Bernabéu, after beating the visitors side by 2-0, in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals first leg. Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the team after his 1-game suspension last weekend, but it was Karim Benzema who ended up scoring the opener that led to the victory.

For the third straight game in a row Real Madrid has managed to keep a clean sheet and have defeated Valencia at home, in a 2-0 win. This was the first of three games between the Merengues and Valencia over the next 8 days, precisely for the Copa del Rey 1st leg. José Mourinho is expected to continue giving priority to these Copa del Rey matches and rotate the team in La Liga, now that his side will have their next two games being played at the Mestalla. As for tonight's game, Karim Benzema gave the lead to Real Madrid near the end of the first half and a Guardado's own goal late in the second half, sealed the deal for the Spanish champions.

Cristiano Ronaldo photos in Real Madrid vs Valencia
Real Madrid
2-0 Valencia goals and highlights:

Cristiano Ronaldo wearing the new Nike CR Mercurial IX football boots, in a Real Madrid game in 2013

As we had pointed out in our match preview article written yesterday, Valencia should always be regarded as a very dangerous side and their visit to the Santiago Bernabéu this Tuesday night just proved they should never be underestimated. Real Madrid won the game by 2-0, but the result might seem a bit deceptive due to several circumstances occurred during the 90 minutes.

Unlike in most games played so far this season, Real Madrid counted with a few incorrect calls from the linesman going in their favor, which may have prevented the visitors side to get the vital goal they were seeking for. It has been a very even game, but the Merengues found a way to come on top at the end and will now carry an important two goals advantage for the second leg in the Mestalla, a game that is to be played on Wednesday from next week (January 23).

The first goal appeared near the 37th minute of the first half, in a play that was some sort of a "dejà-vu" from many Real Madrid counter-attacks that we've seen last season. Essien picked a pass from Xabi Alonso near his own team's penalty area, carried the ball around 30 meters forward and passed it to Sami Khedira, who showed up on the left to support the attacking play. The German midfielder was quick to realize that Benzema was unmarked in the middle and with a first touch pass he assisted the French striker for what would be an easy and routine finish for the 25-years old. Real Madrid's performance wasn't exactly impressing the public at that point of the game, but at least they would go into half-time with a precious one goal lead...

Marcelo defensive skills in Real Madrid 2013

At half-time, José Mourinho decided to replace Marcelo with Fábio Coentrão, since the Brazilian appeared to be far from his best physical conditions, as this has only been his first game since he picked an injury back in October 2012. Without changing much from a tactical point of view, Real Madrid saw Valencia increasing their confidence as the second half unfolded and fortunately a few mistakes from the linesman didn't allow the visitors to test Iker Casillas 1-on-1 skills.

In the 60th minute of game, Mourinho sent in Angel Di María to take Luka Modric's place, and later on, during the 69th minute, Karim Benzema got replaced by Gonzalo Higuaín, completing the 3 substitutions the team was allowed to make with still 20 minutes left to be played. However, José Mourinho's risk ended paying off, as Real Madrid extended the lead a few minutes later, in an attacking play where all the three 2nd half substitutions played an important role.

With 73 minuts on the clock, Angel Di María spotted Fábio Coentrão with space to explore on the left wing, sent the ball in for the Portuguese player to go down the line and put in a low and strong cross into a very dangerous area. Gonzalo Higuaín tried to anticipate Guardado to meet the cross, but the pressure made on the Mexican defender was enough to force him committing a mistake and send the ball back into his own goal. With the 2-0 on the scoreline, Real Madrid held on to it and will now visit the Mestalla for the second leg, with a safe advantage that can very well turn out to be crucial. Cristiano Ronaldo didn't score but his dynamism has surely helped his teammates approaching this game with a more competitive attitude, something that didn't happen last Saturday against Osasuna. Just a final word to praise Sami Khedira's performance, who seems to be one of Real Madrid's players in best form these days and gradually becoming more and more influent on this team.

Luka Modric carrying the ball on the pitch, in a fast pace, during a match for Real Madrid, in 2013

Real Madrid line-up vs Valencia:

Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas
Defenders: Marcelo, Raúl Albiol, Ricardo Carvalho, Essien
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso, Khedira, Modric
Attackers: Ozil, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema

Match stats provided by
Real Madrid
Shots on goal
Corner kicks
Fouls commited
Yellow cards
Red cards
Ball possession

Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Real Madrid will be against Valencia, for the Spanish League "La Liga", on January 20, 2013. You can watch Juventus live stream, Valencia vs Real Madrid, Barcelona vs Malaga, Manchester United vs West Ham and Arsenal vs Swansea, all matches provided from our sports live section.

Real Madrid next game:
Real Madrid vs Valencia
kick-off time (20-01-2013):

Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+8: 03:00
(Madrid) | GMT+2: 21:00
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+1: 20:00
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-1: 18:00
New York (United States) | GMT-4: 15:00
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-7: 12:00
Beijing (China) | GMT-7: 12:00

Sources: / / /

Cristiano Ronaldo opening his arms to show his dissatisfaction

Mesut Ozil getting past an opponent, in Real Madrid vs Valencia, in 2013

Cristiano Ronaldo about to dribble João Pereira, in Real Madrid 2-0 Valencia, for the Copa del Rey 2013

Luka Modric playing for Real Madrid, in 2013

Cristiano Ronaldo perfect ball control, as he hangs in the air in a game for Real Madrid in 2013

Michael Essien playing for Real Madrid, in 2013

Iker Casillas going to the ground to stop a shot, in a Real Madrid game in 2013

Marcelo returns from injury to Real Madrid, in 2013

Cristiano Ronaldo flying in Real Madrid 2013

Cristiano Ronaldo hanging in the air to receive a ball on his chest, in Real Madrid vs Valencia, in 2012-2013

Karim Benzema trademark goal celebration, similar to the Brazilian Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo hugging Karim Benzema in Real Madrid goal celebrations, in the Copa del Rey 2012-2013

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