LaLiga 2018-19, Real Madrid 2-0 Valencia: 5 Hits and Flops
A night of under-par football eventually turned out to be a contest of fortunes, with Real Madrid prevailing over Valencia at the Bernabeu yesterday night.
The home side secured a 2-0 win over Valencia, thanks to an early own goal by Daniel Wass and a late strike by Lucas Vazquez.
The defending European Champions had lost their way in the ongoing LaLiga season big time.
Los Blancos finally had something going their way as Valencia defender Wass connected with a cross from Dani Carvajal, only for the ball to be fished out of his own team's goal net moments later.
Valencia then tried to stage a comeback, and at one point it even looked as if they may score one or two goals back.
But Santi Mina and Gabriel Paulista failed to capitalize on their glorious chances, while Gameiro's shot was too tame to create headaches for Thibaut Courtois. At the other end, Madrid failed to create impactful chances as well.
Late in the game, the hosts had a scare by Michy Batshuayi, but the Belgian's attempt was negotiated well by his national teammate Courtois.
Moments later, a fresh wave of counterattacking smartness by the hosts resulted in the ball finding the feet of Lucas Vazquez, who then prodded it into Valencia's goal to double the lead and ensure the win.
They are now placed fifth in the table, as Sevilla continues to lead the way in the No.1 spot.
Barring these moments mentioned above, there literally was a minimal amount of action in the contest. Madrid led in terms of numbers (goals, shots on target, possession, pass success, total shots, set pieces, etc.) but don't let those help them get away with the fact they won on Valencia's demerit more than any merit of their own.
Their defenders got complacent as the clock ticked on after half-time, and it was through some good luck that they did not concede.
Anyways, it's time to take a look at the best and worst performers from the night that was. Here we go then.
#5 Hit: Lucas Vazquez (Real Madrid)
After a flop show against Eibar, Santiago Solari may have been desperate to turn his fortunes around.
But that did not let him stay away from tweaking his starting lineup a bit, as Gareth Bale found himself at left wing, with the right wing now being occupied by Vazquez. And it paid off, with the latter scoring the goal that assured the Real Madrid win.
Vazquez had a great day on the field, playing for the full 90 minutes. While he made two shots out of which one went in, he also participated in the few scoring opportunities that were created by the hosts.
He finished the game with a pass success rate of 81%, including two key passes and four long balls.
Late in the first half, he skied a cross to Gareth Bale, who launched a powerful volley after collecting the ball and jinking to his left, but Valencia goalkeeper Neto got a hand in the way to save what would have been a fantastic goal for Bale and an assist for Vazquez.