Valencia 3–6 Real Madrid: Higuain Bags A Hat-Trick In The 9 Goal Thriller
Mourinho’s men keep the pressure on Barcelona with an emphatic victory at the Mestalla, closing the gap to five points on the league leaders...
By Daniel Quinton-Navarro
The Mestalla stadium witnessed some breath-taking football as Madrid put six goals past a Valencia side who never said die as they kept on fighting until the final whistle.
Karim Benzema had already struck the crossbar before he opened the scoring after 23 minutes when Valencia ‘keeper Guaita gifted the Frenchmen with a near open goal.
Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain scored two goals either side of Kaka’s strike as the away-side condemned Valencia to their 8th loss of the season; before completing his hat-trick early in the second half.
Roberto Soldado reduced the deficit to four as Madrid’s defending became lacklustre but the five-goal advantage was soon restored when Kaka bagged his second goal.
Valencia ensured it was to be a tight finish when goals from Jonas and Jordi Alba reduced the deficit to three with five minutes remaining, inevitably it proved not to be enough as Mourinho’s men secured a thrilling victory at the Mestalla.
Mourinho opted to rotate his squad as a much changed Real Madrid side opened tentatively as los Che looked to pressurise the newly crowned Copa del Rey champions early on but Madrid were able to thwart the home-side’s advances.
Real Madrid turned it up a gear when Karim Benzema wandered into the penalty area unmarked and rattled the crossbar with a stunning drive from an acute angle.
Madrid forced Guaita into a smart save moments later when Sergio Canales tested him from twenty yards but the Valencia ‘keeper got down well to push the ball away.
The goalkeeper though managed to undo his good work soon afterwards when he misjudged Kaka’s low cross, palming it into the path of Benzema, who steadied himself before lashing the ball into the back of the net.
Valencia looked to respond immediately and came close when Pablo Hernandez ran towards goal and created room to shoot but his shot brushed the base of the post as los Che remained behind.
They found themselves two goals behind moments later after a miscommunication between Jeremy Mathieu and Guaita. The former waited for his ‘keeper to collect the loose ball but Guaita hesitated allowing Higuain to sneak in and supply the finishing touch.
The master class continued as los Blancos extended their lead in the 39th minute with an electrifying attack. Benzema combined with Higuain allowing the Argentine to cross for Kaka. The Brazilian’s touch lifted the ball into the roof of the net as Madrid began to dominate the exchanges.
Madrid found enough time before the end of the half to score their fourth goal when Kaka and Higuain reversed their roles. The Brazilian provided the cross for Higuain to provide the simplest of finishes to round of an emphatic first half display.
In between the 3rd and 4th goals Valencia should have found themselves at 3-1 when Ever Banega wasted a superb opportunity to reduce the deficit, but Iker Casillas denied the Argentine with a routine save.
Higuain completed his hat-trick eight minutes after the re-start due to tremendous work from Kaka. The Brazilian star waltzed past Miguel before crossing for the Argentina striker who side-footed his third goal into the back of the net.
Soldado had the chance to restore some parity when he was left with only Casillas to beat but the striker’s shot was expertly saved by the Spanish No. 1
Valencia’s striker was able to ensure that Casillas didn’t leave with a clean sheet when his deft touch from Juan Mata’s cross directed the ball into the net, as Soldado scored his 8th goal in 4 games.
It proved to be a minimal blip in Madrid’s radar as Kaka responded by scoring his second goal when he side-stepped his defender before prodding the ball into the far corner with a sublime finish.
Los Che scored their 2nd when Jonas rolled the ball past Casillas from 17 yards. The ball was played into Soldado whose quick feet gave the chance for the substitute to reduce the deficit and he did so with the minimal amount of fuss.
And they were within three goals after Jordi Alba was left unmarked at the far post and wrong-footed Casillas to leave Madrid in amazement as the full-time whistle neared.
Valencia ultimately were unable to recover as Madrid secured all three points in a game that represented nothing of what was on show in los Blancos’ last outing at the Mestalla stadium.
The victory reduces the gap on Barcelona to five points at the summit of La Liga as Madrid continue to fight for the title.
Real Madrid lock horns with the Spanish champions on Wednesday in the Champions League semi-final and Mourinho will hope that his side take this attacking prowess to the first leg but not their defensive frailties.
Unai Emery’s side meanwhile remain on course for a third place finish but will left ruing the chance of topping their highest ever points total of 77.
- Own Goal
- Penalty Missed
- Yellow Card
- Penalty Save
- Penalty Shootout Goal
- Penalty Shootout Miss
- Yellow Card / Red Card
- Red Card
- Substitution IN
- Substitution OUT
- Goal.com Rating
- Goal.com Man of the Match
- Goal.com Flop of the Match
- Top & Flop Global Ranking
- Fans' Man of the Match
- Fans' Flop of the Match