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Real Valladolid 0-1 Real Madrid: 5 talking points as Los Blancos register crucial away win 

Real Madrid defeated Real Valladolid
Real Madrid defeated Real Valladolid
Ume Elvis
ANALYST
Modified 21 Feb 2021
Top 5 / Top 10
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A second half strike by Casemiro was enough to give Real Madrid a narrow victory over Real Valladolid at the José Zorrilla stadium.

Zinedine Zidane made two changes from the side that saw off Valencia last weekend, with Lucas Vazquez and Mariano Diaz coming in for the Dani Carvajal and Karin Benzema respectively. Both men were sidelined by injury concerns.

The hosts started the game on the front foot and forced Thibaut Courtois into a fantastic double save in the 7th minute.

An open first half saw both sides fashion good chances, although neither side managed to break the deadlock at half-time.

It was more of the same in the second half. as despite Real Madrid controlling most of the possession, they failed to make their dominance count.

Los Blancos, however, got a goal 20 minutes into the second half when Casemiro rose highest to head home a freekick by the impeccable Toni Kross.

This proved to be the match-winner.

Although Valladolid had some presentable opportunities to draw level, Real Madrid held on to secure all three points and move closer to Atletico Madrid.

Here are five talking points from the fixture.

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#5 Title race on in La Liga

Real Madrid got back in the title race with this victory
Real Madrid got back in the title race with this victory

Atletico Madrid were seemingly running away with La Liga as recently as two weeks ago. However, a poor run of form in recent weeks has seen Los Colchoneros drop crucial points and lose their advantage at the summit.

Diego Simeone's side lost at home for the first time in over a year, to Levante, which saw them fail to increase their advantage over Real Madrid.

Their city rivals came into this fixture knowing that a win against Real Valladolid would see them close the gap to Atleti and they ultimately got the job done.

Despite not playing at their best, Real did enough to secure all three points and ultimately, that was all that mattered.

The victory means that Real Madrid and now just three points behind Atletico having played a game more. Even Barcelona and Sevilla, 3rd and 4th respectively, could be in with a shout at the title if they secure victories on Sunday.

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This means that the title race has become much tighter, which was hardly fathomable few weeks ago.


#4 Real Valladolid get punished for failing to take their chances against Real Madrid

Fabian Orellana missed two golden opportunities
Fabian Orellana missed two golden opportunities

Despite having less of the ball, Real Valladolid fashioned much better goalscoring chances than Real Madrid.

The hosts forced Thibaut Courtois into smart saves as early as the 7th minute, although one of Fabian Orellana or Saidy Janko should have buried their opportunity.

In many ways, this set the tone for what was to follow, as it proved to be a case of the hosts fashioning presentable chances without making them count.

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Orellana had another wonderful chance to score 10 minutes into the second half after Ferland Mendy's ill-timed cross-field ball into the box left him with only Courtois to beat.

The 35-year-old, however, volleyed straight at the Real Madrid goalkeeper when he truly should have done better.

In total, the hosts had nine shots with five of those on target compared to the two on target registered by the defending champions.

Ultimately, elite sides like Real Madrid punish you when you fail to take your chances and Real Valladolid witnessed it first hand.

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Published 21 Feb 2021, 09:39 IST
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