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Valencia 4-1 Real Madrid: 5 hits and flops as Soler hat-trick sinks champions | La Liga 2020-21

Valencia secured a thumping victory over Real Madrid after Soler dispatched three penalties.
Valencia secured a thumping victory over Real Madrid after Soler dispatched three penalties.
Sachin Bhat
ANALYST
Modified 09 Nov 2020, 10:56 IST
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Carlos Soler scored a hat-trick of penalties for Valencia as Real Madrid were humbled 4-1 at the Mastella, their first loss away from home in the 2020-21 La Liga season.

Too many individual mistakes at the back cost Los Blancos the game against Valencia as Karim Benzema's opening goal quickly faded into oblivion.

For neutral spectators, this must have been one of the most thrilling games in La Liga this calendar year, as it was packed with VAR incidents, defensive blunders, a triumvirate of penalties, a hat-trick and fouls galore.

The defeat condemns the reigning champions down to fourth in the La Liga table; Real Madrid now have just 16 points from eight games, whereas the Bats are up to ninth following their first win in five games.

On that note, let's have a look at the hits and flops from the match:

Hit: Carlos Soler (Valencia)

Carlos Soler was clinical from 12 yards, converting all three of his penalties against Real Madrid.
Carlos Soler was clinical from 12 yards, converting all three of his penalties against Real Madrid.

Three penalties, three goals - Carlos Soler put champions Real Madrid to the sword with his spot-kick prowess - becoming the first player since Lionel Messi in March 2014 to score a La Liga hat-trick against Los Blancos. And remember, he's just a midfielder.

After initially missing his first penalty, he made no mistake when asked to retake following a VAR review. Soler then followed suit with his next two penalties too, showing great composure on each occasion. In the process, the Spaniard scored more goals in one game than he did in the entirety of the previous season.

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He wasn't so impressive from open play, but Soler as clinical from the spot, and that made the difference against Real Madrid. Another interesting fact to note here is that Soler became just the third player in La Liga history to convert three penalties in a game and the first to do so since 1996.


Flop: Real Madrid's defence

Real Madrid were in complete shambles at the back.
Real Madrid were in complete shambles at the back.

Real Madrid's defensive prowess, which laid the foundation for their league success last season, already seems like a distant memory. The holders' defence has been in absolute shambles in recent weeks.

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Following another horror show against Valencia, Real Madrid have now conceded ten goals in their last five competitive games.

Each of the four goals Real Madrid conceded at the Mestalla were a result of individual mistakes from their four defenders:

Vazquez was penalised for a handball for Valencia's opening goal; the hosts' second was an own goal by Varane; the second Valencia penalty was conceded by Marcelo after a clumsy challenge, and Carlos scored his third from the spot after Ramos handled the ball inside the area.

It was an absolutely calamitous day for the Real Madrid defence. Each time Los Che drove forward, a disaster was waiting to happen in the Real Madrid defence which was wobbly, disorganised and lackadaisical.

This is quickly becoming a recurring theme for Real Madrid, and Zinedine Zidane must find a cure to the malaise before it gets too late.

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Published 09 Nov 2020, 10:56 IST
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