LaLiga 2018-19: Real Madrid CF 2-0 Valencia CF: 3 Reasons Why Real Madrid Won
It was an enthralling night at the Santiago Bernebau and the heavenly white choir finally stopped hitting bum notes (somewhat) and put in a performance that would unanimously be considered one of the top 3 of the season. Valencia was put to the sword by the Blancos 2-0 on the night, and much can be said about the performance put in by the visitors, but it was the home side that was truly comprehensive and looked the better team for the majority of the fixture.
Real dominated the entire first half and took an early lead through a Daniel Wass own goal forced by arguably the best right back in the world, Carvajal. The visitors would've certainly felt lucky to go down the tunnels with only one goal down. However, it was the men in blue who started the second half the stronger of the two teams as Madrid's extreme press seemed to have taken the gas out of a few players, and the Valencian outfit was extremely close to capitalizing on that in the second half on a few occasions but were denied by Thibaut Courtois or poor finishing.
Lucas Vasquez added some much-needed re-assurance for the European Champions 7 minutes from time after a brilliant sweeping move saw Carvajal lay up Benzema, who calmly found Vasquez unmarked in the box. The pacey Spaniard took one touch before calmly slotting it past the sprawling Neto, and the second goal saw the visitors give up on the result completely as they posed no real threat after going 2 down. Here are 3 reasons why Real Madrid won.
#1 Solari's decisions
Since the defeat at Eibar in the Basque Country, Real Madrid and Santiago Solari have had quite a drastic change in attitude and approach in the following two fixtures, as the backline has really tightened up and the attack seems to somewhat be finally clicking. Isco has been on the fringes of the squad though, having started no games under the man from Rosario, who trusted youngster Dani Ceballos to start at the Bernebau today.
His decision was a good one, as Ceballos linked brilliantly with Regulion, Benzema, and Modric on the night, and despite him seeming to lack that final bit in the final third, he will gain more confidence, composure as his minutes and the coach's faith increases in him.
Solari also took Gareth Bale off for Marco Asensio, albeit due to the #11 straining his thigh, and brought on the much-maligned Marco Asensio. The youngster wasn't massively better than the misfiring Welsh Dragon, but he got into dangerous positions and looked livelier than the man he replaced. Asensio looks devoid of confidence, but with the upswing in results, he can work on his game behind the curtains and gradually return to his sparkling self.