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Real Madrid 2-0 Valencia: 5 talking points as Los Blancos reclaim second spot | La Liga 2020-21Β 

Real Madrid defeated Valencia 2-0.
Real Madrid defeated Valencia 2-0.
Ume Elvis
ANALYST
Modified 15 Feb 2021
Top 5 / Top 10
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First-half goals from Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos helped Real Madrid beat Valencia 2-0 to move second in the 2020-21 La Liga.

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane was back with a four-man defence for this game. Dani Carvajal returned to the starting lineup from injury, while Toni Kroos also returned from his one-game suspension.

The hosts started the game on the front foot and went ahead in the 12th minute. Karim Benzema picked up a pass by Kroos before curling a shot into the bottom-left corner to put Real Madrid in the lead.

However, Zidane was forced into the first change of the game when Dani Carvajal limped off the field in the 28th minute and was replaced by Lucas Vazquez.

Nevertheless, Real Madrid doubled their lead three minutes before half-time. A well-worked team move saw Vasquez find Toni Kroos in acres of space in the box, and the Germany international made no mistake from 14 yards.

The second half was played at a slower tempo, but Valencia offered nothing in terms of attacking threat. The home side thought they had tripled their lead when Ferland Mendy placed a right-footed finish past Jaume Domenech.

Replays, however, showed that Vinicius Junior was slightly offside in the buildup to the goal.

However, the setback had no impact on the final result, as Los Blancos picked up three crucial points to move up to second in the league standings.

On that note, here are five talking points from the game.

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#5 Pathetic Valencia fail to turn up in the capital

Valencia CF vs Levante UD - La Liga Santander
Valencia CF vs Levante UD - La Liga Santander

The last time the two sides met, Valencia put out a comprehensive performance to thrash the defending champions 4-1. They had also picked up a point at the Camp Nou a month later.

Los Che came into this game, knowing that a win could steer them clear of the relegation zone. However, that was not to be, as they failed to trouble Madrid.

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was virtually a spectator throughout the game, and was not called into action till the 54th minute. That was Valencia's first shot in the game, and it ended up being their only effort on target.

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It was not only in attack that the visitors were poor. Their defence was practically non-existent, as Real Madrid were afforded too much time and space.

In many ways, it was almost as if the visitors came into this game lacking the self-belief that they could get the job done against the faltering reigning champions.


#4 Real Madrid usurp Barcelona to go second

Real Madrid are second in the 2020-21 La Liga standings.
Real Madrid are second in the 2020-21 La Liga standings.

Barcelona's emphatic 5-1 victory over Alaves on Saturday meant that the Blaugrana temporarily climbed above their arch-rivals into second place.

Real Madrid, however, got the job done against Valencia to ensure they reclaimed second spot in the league table. Despite the victory, Real Madrid are five points off leaders Atletico Madrid, who have two games in hand.

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Published 15 Feb 2021, 00:45 IST
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