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Deportivo La Coruña
1 December 2013
• Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
Referee: Pedro Jesús Pérez Montero
• Attendance: 68655
G. Bale 33', 64', 89'
K. Benzema 36'
So, there may be no Cristiano Ronaldo but Gareth Bale certainly showed that he can be the main man at the Santiago Bernabeu after his first Real Madrid hat trick. Carlo Ancelotti's side take a break from La Liga action as they face minnows Olimpic de Xativa in the Copa Del Rey next weekend whilst Valladolid host Rayo Vallecano. Thanks for joining me, Max Bentley, on this live commentary. Until next time, goodbye.
As for Valladolid, they remain above the relegation zone on goal difference but could find themselves among the bottom three if Almeria or Rayo Vallecano get a result tomorrow. Jose Ignacio Martinez certainly has a difficult task on his hands.
FT: Real Madrid 4-0 Valladolid. Gareth Bale's hat trick helps Carlo Ancelotti's side close the gap on joint-leaders Atletico Madrid and Barcelona to just three points. Karim Benzema also got his name on the scoresheet in a dominant performance for Los Blancos.
90' + 1'
BRILLIANT SAVE FROM MARINO! It's nearly 5-0 as Jese produces a perfectly-weighted pass for Morata to run onto. The Spanish U-21 striker attempts to smash the ball into the roof of the net but the Valladolid goalkeeper gets a strong hand to it, to tip it over the crossbar.
Goal Gareth Bale
BALE GETS HIS HAT TRICK! The Welshman claims the match ball and he owes it to Marcelo. Real Madrid break from a Valladolid corner and Marcelo receives the ball out on the left but instead of going for goal, he unselfishly squares for Bale, who has the simple task of rolling the ball into the net.
There have been some fine performers on show for Real Madrid today but for me, Isco and Xabi Alonso have been the two outstanding players. The Spanish duo have been dominant in the midfield with Isco's intricate play and Alonso's accurate passing.
Jose Ignacio Martinez makes his final change of the game as Lluis Sastre comes off for Humberto Osorio.
Jese is hoping to make an impression himself and he collects a pass outside the box before fizzing a low shot towards goal which squirms through Marino's fingertips and out for a corner. From the resulting set piece, Ramos heads well wide of the target,
Bergdich has been impressive for Valladolid tonight and he looks to get his name on the scoresheet when he spots Diego Lopez off his line. However, he cannot direct his lob on target and the goalkeeper's clean sheet remains intact.
GOOD SAVE FROM MARINO! Isco opens up the Valladolid defence again with a precise through ball for Morata and the young striker forces the goalkeeper into a smart save with his angled drive across goal. Isco seizes on the rebound and tees up Marcelo but the Brazilian swipes at the ball wildly and it hits his standing right leg.
Yellow Card Sastre
Sastre picks up Valladolid's first booking of the game after a mistimed challenge on Isco. That will rule him out of the next match,
Real Madrid are just looking to see the game out now and they effortlessly pass the ball around, frustrating their opponents. Jose Ignacio Martinez has a big task on his hands if he is to steer Valladolid away from the relegation zone.
Manucho looks to make his impact as he holds off the challenge of Marcelo before testing Lopez with an ambitious long-range effort. He will do well to beat the Real Madrid goalkeeper from that far out.
Isco has produced some wonderful touches in this match and he tiptoes his way into the Valladolid box once again but just as he is set to pull the trigger, Rubio makes a good tackle to steal the ball away.
Ángel Di María
Valladolid make their second change of the game as former Manchester United striker Manucho comes on to replace Javi Guerra. Carlo Ancelotti opts to make two changes as Jese and Alvaro Morata replace Angel Di Maria and Karim Benzema.
Yellow Card Pepe
Pepe picks up the first booking of the game after he brings down Guerra about 30 yards from goal.
Another controversial decision goes against Real Madrid as the linesman raises his flag to deny Di Maria who had raced clean through on goal from Modric's accurate pass. He looked level with Alcatraz there.
After a dazzling first half display, Di Maria has been a little quieter in the second. The Argentine attempts to unlock the Valladolid defence again with an ambitious pass but Pena is in the right place to deny Benzema.
Bale is looking for a hat trick and he glides past Pena down the right but loses his footing at the crucial moment and balloons a right-footed shot high over the bar.
Bergdich is the only attacking player who looks dangerous for Valladolid and he cuts inside from the right again before stinging the fingertips of Lopez with an excellent drive.
Goal Gareth Bale
BALE MAKES IT 3-0! Marcelo is the architect this time as he receives Bale's pass on the overlap and fizzes a low cross into the box. Rueda fails to deal with it however and gives the ball straight to Bale, who finishes with his right-foot into the bottom corner. Game over.
BENZEMA GOES CLOSE! Carvajal gets clear down the right brilliantly and once again he rolls the ball across the goalmouth for Benzema, but the striker can only shuffle the ball wide of the target, under pressure from the on-rushing Marino.
REAL MADRID HAVE THE BALL IN THE NET BUT IT WON'T COUNT! Bale slips a neat pass to Carvajal on the overlap and he rolls the ball across goal for Benzema to tap in. However, the linesman's flag is raised against Carvajal, disallowing the strike, although replays show he was onside.
If Real Madrid win today, it will be their 36th home victory against Valladolid in 42 meetings.
Valladolid are making a good effort to get back into this game but Pepe is in the right place to prevent Guerra from getting on the end of Alcatraz's cross.
Moments after Bergdich tests Lopez with a low shot, Rossi tries his luck, but can only send a shot high and wide of the target.
The Bernabeu crowd give a good reception to Jese and Alvaro Morata as the talented young strikers warm up.
Isco and Di Maria produce some superb close control and footwork to combine on the edge of the box but the Argentine attempts to play in Bale when he should have gone for goal and the chance breaks down.
Bale opts to go for power but his shot deflects off a purple and black shirt and goes behind for a corner which is well defended by the visitors.
Marcelo wins a free kick when he is tripped on the edge of the box by Sastre. Can Bale replicate his effort against Galatasaray in midweek?
Valladolid are nearly made to pay when they attempt to play the ball out dangerously from the back but Valiente produces a good header to deny Pepe from meeting Di Maria's corner.
Pena capitalises upon a sloppy headed clearance by Carvajal but the left-back can only drill a low left-footed shot narrowly wide of Lopez's left-hand post.
Luka Modric receives the ball in space on the edge of the box and he tries to find the bottom corner with a low drive but fires narrowly wide.
The teams re-emerge from the tunnel for the second half and there has been a substitute for Valladolid as Omar Ramos has replaced Daniel Larsson in a like-for-like change. Real Madrid, unchanged, get the game back underway.
HT: REAL MADRID 2-0 VALLADOLID. Goals from Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema give Carlo Ancelotti's side a deserved lead at the interval. It took 33 minutes to break the deadlock but it has been an utterly dominant display from Real Madrid, who look set to make it five consecutive league wins. It looks a matter of damage limitation for Jose Ignacio Martinez's side now.
CHANCE FOR VALLADOLID! If you're going to get anything at the Bernabeu, you need to make the most of those opportunities. Bergdich floats an accurate cross towards the back post and Guerra meets it on the volley but can only slice it high and wide of Lopez's goal.
GREAT CHALLENGE FROM ALCATRAZ! The Colombian is left chasing Di Maria's shadow once again as Marcelo clips a brilliant ball down the left but just as Di Maria looks set to roll the ball across goal, Alcatraz shows great pace to make a fantastic sliding tackle to steal the ball away.
Valladolid are finally showing some attacking intent here but they are finding it extremely difficult to break down the Real Madrid defence. Larsson looks to set up Rossi on the edge of the box but the on-loan Juventus man cannot find space for the shot and his through ball is easily intercepted by Carvajal.
VALLADOLID FINALLY HAVE A SHOT! It's not on target, but it's still one for the stats! Rubio switches the ball out to the right for Bergdich and the Moroccan cuts inside Marcelo but can only scuff his shot well wide of the right-hand post.
Assist Gareth Bale
Goal Karim Benzema
BRILLIANT GOAL FROM BENZEMA! The floodgates have opened now and Benzema wheels off to celebrate as he powers a fantastic header past the helpless Marino after meeting Bale's inch-perfect cross from the right.
Valladolid look to respond immediately but they are denied their first shot on goal as Alonso makes a good interception to prevent Sastre's pass. Will Lopez be tested today?
Goal Gareth Bale
BALE MAKES IT 1-0! Real Madrid finally break the deadlock and it comes through the forehead of the Welshman. Marcelo slides a pass beyond Alcatraz for Di Maria and his fierce cross is palmed into the air by Marino where Bale is waiting to head the ball into an empty net. That's his seventh goal of the season.
GOOD SAVE FROM MARINO! Isco produces a fantastic pass to split the Valladolid defence and Di Maria races onto the ball but cannot beat Marino at his near post. From the resulting corner, Ramos glances a header narrowly wide.
GOOD CHANCE FOR BENZEMA! The France international comes closing to breaking the deadlock when he glides past two Valladolid defenders on the edge of the box but he cannot get enough bend on his shot and curls an effort narrowly wide of the far post.
Gareth Bale looks to have the beating of Pena down the right and he produces a neat stepover to get his cross into the box but Valiente is once again there to bravely hack it clear.
WAS HE OUTSIDE HIS BOX? Javi Guerra looks to chase down a speculative long ball for Valladolid and Lopez comes racing off his goalline to collect it but comes extremely close to taking it outside the penalty box. There were a few shouts from the travelling support but the referee is not interested.
DI MARIA GOES CLOSE! Modric's fizzed pass for Benzema is miscontrolled by the France striker but it sets up nicely for Di Maria whose well-executed volley is well held by Marino.
Marcelo and Carvajal are looking to get forward to join the attack as much as possible and the Brazilian looks to break the deadlock but can only balloon a right-footed shot high over the bar.
Twenty one minutes gone and it's still 0-0...although I'm not quite sure how. Real Madrid have been utterly dominant here and I don't think Javi Guerra, up front for Valladolid, has touched the ball yet. Diego Lopez may as well be sitting in the stands.
Bale produces a wonderful turn to get away from Pena down the right and he looks to cross the ball into the middle for Benzema, but Valiente produces a crucial interception to keep the scores level.
Alonso's passing has been wonderful and he flicks a first-time ball over the head of Alcatraz for Di Maria to chase and the Argentine does well to get his cross into the box where Bale heads straight into the gloves of Marino.
Gareth Bale makes his first mark on the game as he cuts in from the right to meet Alonso's raking pass but he cannot keep his half volley down and blazes an effort over the bar.
BENZEMA GOES CLOSE! Di Maria gets clear once again down the left and he delivers a teasing cross towards the back post but Benzema, who had peeled off of Rueda, can only find the side netting.
ANOTHER GREAT CHANCE FOR RAMOS! The centre-back looks eager to atone for his 17th career red card in midweek but he misses another glorious opportunity as Alonso and Isco combine excellently before the latter's cross is headed over by Ramos from just six yards out.
It's all about Di Maria at the moment and he finds space again on the left but his teasing cross is headed behind by Pena for a corner.
SAFE HANDS FROM MARINO! Di Maria is causing Alcaraz all sorts of problems down the left early on and he shows the Colombian a clean set of heels but his low angled drive is well held by the Valladolid goalkeeper.
DI MARIA HITS THE BAR! Alonso's free kick is headed out by the Valladolid defence but only as far as Di Maria, who controls the ball expertly before crashing a dipping half volley against the underside of the crossbar. Great start from Real Madrid here.
Di Maria, who scored Real Madrid's third goal against Galatasaray in midweek, has made a bright start and he is brought down by Alacaraz on the left. Can Alonso test the Valladolid defence again?
IT SHOULD BE 1-0! Alonso delivers a wonderful cross towards the edge of the six-yard box where Ramos, unmarked, somehow heads over.
Valladolid will be thankful that Cristiano Ronaldo is absent today. Martinez's side have won only one of their last eleven matches. Can they spring a surprise this evening? Real Madrid win the first corner of the game when Di Maria's cross is shuffled behind by Valiente.
Both sets of players pay their respects to Fabio Coentrao's father who died earlier today, with a minute's silence. Valladolid get the game underway.
The teams emerge from the tunnel and onto the pristine Santiago Bernabeu playing surface. Captains Sergio Ramos and Alvaro Rubio begin the handshakes between the respective sides.
Valladolid's last victory at the Santiago Bernabeu came in 2000 but they did manage to beat Los Blancos at home in November 2008. The previous six meetings between these sides have witnessed a total of 26 goals. Let's hope for plenty more this evening.
As for Valladolid, Jose Ignacio Martinez makes just a solitary change to the team which lost 1-0 at home to Osasuna last weekend. Playmaker Patrick Ebert, who has scored three and assisted four goals this term, is suspended and therefore replaced by on-loan Juventus midfielder Fausto Rossi. Top goalscorer Javi Guerra (7) plays as the lone striker.
Carlo Ancelotti makes five changes to the side which defeated Galatasaray on Wednesday. Diego Lopez replaces Iker Casillas in goal whilst Alvaro Arbeloa is suspended, meaning that Daniel Carvajal starts at right-back. Xabi Alonso and Luka Modric take the places of Asier Illarramendi and Casemiro in the midfield whilst Karim Benzema replaces Jese up front. Sergio Ramos continues at centre-back despite his red card in midweek.
VALLADOLID (4-2-3-1): Marino; Alcatraz, Rueda, Valiente, Pena; Rubio, Sastre; Rossi, Larsson, Bergdich; Guerra.
REAL MADRID (4-3-3): Diego Lopez; Carvajal, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Alonso, Modric, Isco; Di Maria, Bale, Benzema.
Without further ado, here are today's lineups starting with Real Madrid who once again decide not to risk Cristiano Ronaldo.
Atletico Madrid's 2-0 win at Elche means that only a victory will do for Real Madrid this evening as they seek to close the gap on their city rivals and joint-leaders Barcelona to three points. As for Valladolid, they sit above Almeria and Rayo Vallecano, just outside the relegation zone, courtesy of a superior goal difference. Jose Ignacio Martinez's side have won only two league games all season, scoring only 16 goals in their 14 matches.
Having sealed their place in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages with a 4-1 win over Galatasaray in midweek, Real Madrid turn their attentions back to La Liga action this evening where they go in search of a fifth consecutive league win against a struggling Valladolid outfit. Carlo Ancelotti's side have scored a staggering 20 goals in their previous four league matches and even without Cristiano Ronaldo, the task looks almost an impossible one for Jose Ignacio Martinez's side. Bringing you all the action from the Santiago Bernabeu today, my name is Max Bentley.
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