Full Time: Real Madrid 2-1 Valencia
Real Madrid reclaimed their position at the top of the La Liga table when they defeated Valencia 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
Zinedine Zidane’s men were put ahead in the 27th minute by talismanic attacker Cristiano Ronaldo with a low headed effort. Karim Benzema hit the woodwork in the second period, before Ronaldo had a penalty saved after Dani Parejo had fouled Luka Modric in the box.
The penalty miss could have proved costly for Madrid as Parejo bought Valencia back on level terms with eight minutes to spare. However, four minutes later, Marcelo restored their lead with a neat finish from inside the box and they held on to clinch the three points.
The win sees the Los Blancos jump to the top of the league table, but that might not last for long as Barcelona will be playing later on the same day. Here is how the Madrid players fared on the day:
Real Madrid Player Ratings
Keylor Navas – 7/10
Made one very important save to deny Santi Mina in the first-half. Fairly quiet outing thereafter with Los Che rarely threatening.
Dani Carvajal – 7/10
Fine cross to set Ronaldo up for the opener in the first-half. Another performance full of attacking intent and running. Consistent and reliable.
Nacho – 7/10
Another solid display from Madrid’s fourth choice centre-back. Has stepped up brilliantly in recent weeks.
Sergio Ramos – 6/10
Let Mina through on goal early in the game, but was saved by Navas. Steady presence at the back apart from that early blip.
Marcelo – 8/10
Another typical display full of running down the left-hand side. Underlined his importance to this Madrid side with a late winner.
Luka Modric – 7/10
Kept Madrid ticking in the middle of the park with his usual hustle and bustle. Won the penalty in the second period, which Ronaldo missed.
Casemiro – 6/10
Screened his defence well and broke up play with his usual tenacity. Looked to get forward each time he got on the ball. Booked.
Toni Kroos – 6/10
Not the German international’s best outing as he could not get himself into the game for large phases.
James Rodriguez – 6/10
Started the game on the right-side. Showed a few glimpses of some great touches and neat link-up, but there were quite a few misplaced passes as well.
Karim Benzema – 5/10
Hit the post in the second period. But apart from that, the Frenchman was largely poor. Was taken off to booing from the Madrid faithful.
Cristiano Ronaldo – 6/10
Took his chance to head in from close from Carvajal’s cross for the opener. But had a penalty saved in the second period and passed up a few other easy chances.
Marco Asensio – 6/10
Replaced Rodriguez in the 66th minute. Sent in a couple of teasing crosses into the box.
Alvaro Morata – 6/10
Came on for Benzema for the final 20 minutes. Booked for a challenge on Carlos Soler. Grabbed the assist for Marcelo’s winner.
Following the match, Ronaldo posted this beautiful snap on Twitter;
Vamosssssssssswell done boys pic.twitter.com/0icct4DL03
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) April 29, 2017