They were three non-negotiable points, as Barça threatened to finish the first round with an eight point lead in the standings (now there are five), and Real Madrid kept them. But at what price. The revelry at the Bernabéu on a night resolved at the start of the first half, with the goals of Asensio y Vinicius, mutated into mournful silence when Militao first and, above all, Benzema later had to leave the field injured. Three points, yes, but three points that could be very expensive for Real Madrid.
Two and a half days after a new challenge at Mallorca’s home, six days before the Club World Cup begins to come into play in Rabat, the white infirmary continues to fill up. Tchouaméni and Carvajal now leave, reappearing before the Valencia, but two pillars enter, we will have to see for how long. The consolation that Madrid responded in football, even with the ballast of a goal canceled by VAR after an action with dozens in each corner.
It is true that Valencia was not exactly a fierce rival, resistant in the first part, but completely destroyed at the first blow. He did not even shoot against the goal of a Courtois that he could have watched the game from the bench and the film would not have changed anything. It is clear that Voro, as Gattuso anticipated, has work ahead of him.
Mendy was also injured for the next two months and Alaba was still absent, Ancelotti he repeated with Camavinga as left back, while he granted the right to Nacho again, with Carvajal still somewhat limping on the bench. Nevertheless, Militao’s injury in the 35th minute forced Ancelotti to give entry to ‘2’.
Asensio was the companion of the untouchables Benzema and Vinicius and the midfield was the most playful possible, with Modric and Ceballos escorting the new midfielder Kroos. That gave Madrid a lot of control of the game, but Valencia showed, at least for a while, that their spirit was different from that of previous weeks.
Voro, a firefighter for the ninth time after the departure of Gattuso, drew a Valencia dedicated to direct football, brave in pressing but also quick and orderly in retreat, the phase in which he had to invest the most time at the Bernabéu. His plan was working well in the first part, limiting the offensive danger of Madrid to two frank shots from Asensioone stopped by Mamardashvili and the other blocked by the defense.
Ché’s resistance seemed to wane at the end of the first half, when Rudiger headed in the last corner of the first half. However, the VAR claimed the attention of Alberola Rojas, who annulled the goal after seeing a repeated struggle between Benzema and Musah in which the Frenchman displaced his rival with his elbow and hand. Nothing violent, but enough for the referee to reverse his decision and reprimand the striker. He will bring tail.
Madrid went to the locker room chewing on their frustration and perhaps that was what emboldened them. Because it took ten minutes to get 2-0 on the scoreboard. In minute 52, Asensio took a tremendous left-footed shot from the corner of the area out of his hat and in minute 55, Vinicius beat Mamardashvili one-on-one after a run from midfield. In both cases, Benzema acted as an assistant, perfectly reading what nobody is able to glimpse.
Red to Gabriel
The Frenchman was going to finish the game right away, muscularly injured after an attempted shot. When game time is reached, The change was demanded by a Benzema who, since Christmas, had played everything except the cup duel against Cacereño. The game itself was also going to end soon, as it did when Gabriel Paulista lost his mind after 71 minutes with an intolerable kick to Vinicius for which he was sent off.
The most interesting thing that lay ahead was hearing the Bernabéu chanting “Ceballos, stay!” Valencia was already completely defeated and Madrid was not there to force. In fact, Kroos and Modric left the field with almost half an hour to go. It was not a matter of the three points coming out even more expensive.
2 – Real Madrid: Courtouis; Nacho Fernandez, Militao (Carvajal, m.36), Rüdiger, Camavinga; Kroos (Fede Valverde, 67), Modric (Tchouameni, 67), Ceballos; Marco Asensio, Vinicius Junior and Benzema (Rodrygo, m.60).
0 – Valencia: Mamardashvili; Foulquier, Gabriel Paulista, Diakhaby, Gayà; Hugo Guillamón, André Almeida, Musah (Comert, m.75); Castillejo, Cavani (Fran Pérez, m.75) and Samu Lino.
Goals: 1-0, m.52: Marco Asensio. 2-0, m.54: Vinicius.
Referee: Javier Alberola Rojas (Castilian-Manchego College). He admonished Nacho (33), Benzema (45 + 2) and Asensio (62) for Real Madrid; and Diakhaby (60) for Valencia. He sent off Paulista (72) for a direct red card for the visitors.
Incidences: postponed game of the seventeenth day of LaLiga Santander, played at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium in front of 51,926 spectators.