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Cartoon of the Day
Kenya Player of the Week
January 20, 2013
• Estadio de Mestalla, Valencia
Referee: José Antonio Teixeira Vitienes
• Attendance: 40000
G. Higuaín 9'
Á. di María 34', 45'
Cristiano Ronaldo 36', 41'
Full time at the Mestalla. Real Madrid come out with a superb 5-0 victory over Valencia. The hosts were absolutely hammered in the first half and a brace each from Ronaldo and Di Maria, as well as a strike from Higuain gave Los Blancos a commanding lead going into the break. The hosts had no reply and Madrid now cut the gap between themselves and Barcelona to 15 points. I'm Martin Macdonald, thank you for joining us on Goal.com! See you next time!
Just the one minute of stoppage time.
Banega clips a lovely pass over the top of the Madrid defence for Benat but Casillas dashes out from his goal to claim the ball. Excellent from Casillas as he has not had much to do tonight!
Ronaldo misses a great chance! Modric does brilliantly on the left to dance past Barragan and curl a cross to the front post. The Portuguese gets in front of his defender but volleys the ball by the post! Valencia let off the hook again!
So close from Higuain! He picks up the ball on the left-hand side and gets the better of Barragan before lashing a strike towards the near post. Alves may have had it covered but it was inches by the post.
Having said that, the next visitors to the Mestalla will be Real Madrid again. Not exactly the team you want to play again a few days later after being torn apart!
The best thing that Valencia can do is just forget about this match as soon as it is over. This game was never going to define their season but they need to up their game if they are to defeat beatable opponents in the coming weeks.
Yellow Card Michael Essien
Michael Essies receives a yellow card. The substitute struck Adil Rami in the face with a wayward arm and it is deemed deliberate by the ref.
Madrid have been playing in neutral in this second half. The game was one by half time and they have used the second 45 minutes to have a little break. Not much penetrative play going on.
A small break in play at the moment as Nelson Valdez is down injured. The Paraguayan ran beyond the byline and slipped into the advertising boards at the side of the pitch! That looked a sore one but it looks as if he'll be okay.
Real Madrid's back four have been solid tonight. Looking at the defence before the match you would have been forgiven for thinking that they would be slightly shaky tonight, but they have expertly patrolled their penalty area.
Juan Bernat comes on to replace Pablo Piatti for Valencia and Jose Callejon comes on to replace Sami Khedira for Real Madrid.
Valencia just need to be better in the final third. They have done better in their build-up play in the second half but the final pass, shot, or cross has always been disappointing.
Ronaldo is screaming for a penalty kick! He bursts a gut to get on the end of a ball in the centre of the box but is ousted out of the way by Adil Rami! Looked like a fair shoulder challenge from the Frenchman.
Better defending from Ricardo Costa. Higuain looks to latch on to a pass through the middle from Modric but the Valencia man flexes his muscles and barges him off the ball, within the realms of the rules, ofcourse.
Real Madrid follow suit and make a change of their own. The superb Mesut Ozil comes off for Luka Modric.
Valencia make their second change of the match. The isolated Roberto Soldado is withdrawn for Nelson Valdez. The captain of the home side just has not had anything to work with tonight.
Jonas misses a great opportunity! The Brazilian picks up the ball just to the right-hand side of goal but unceremoniously balloons the ball over the bar, despite a few team-mates being free inside the box. Valencia are getting half-chances, but lack the cutting edge that Madrid has in abundance.
Yellow Card Ever Banega
Deserved booking for Ever Banega. The Argentine looks to stop the run of Ronaldo through the middle and does so with a cynical hack from behind.
There is a lot of swagger about Madrid's play now, and no wonder. Confidence is oozing throughout the team. You feel that if they had played like this more times this season, they wouldn't be so far behind Barca at the top of the table.
Fair play to Valencia, they could easily have came out in the second half with their heads down, but they look to be very eager to cut down the deficit.
First change of the match from Jose Mourinho. Xabi Alonso comes off to be replaced by Michael Essien. That will be like-for-like in the centre of midfield.
Another early second half shot from Valencia. This time the ball breaks to Tino Costa 25 yards out and the Argentine hits a dipping volley towards goal but the ball goes a yard or so by the post. It was well struck, but lacked direction.
The latest yellow card goes to Angel Di Maria. The Argentine is booked for a handball. There didn't look like there was much he could do to get out of the way.
Yellow Card Ángel Di María
Coentrao clears off the line! Adil Rami rises high from a corner and directs a header towards goal but the Portuguese is on hand to clear the ball from inside the post!
So unlucky again from Piatti! The former Almeria man cuts in from the right-hand side and drives a strike towards the top corner but it clips the top of the crossbar! The hosts are not having a lot of luck tonight!
Real Madrid haven't scored 5 away goals before half time in La Liga since 64 years ago against Sevilla. This shows how superb Jose Mourinho's men have been tonight, and also how terrible Valencia have been.
A change to report at half time for Valencia. Antonio Barragan has replaced Fernando Gago. Ernesto Valverde adding another defender.
We are back under way at the Mestalla!
Half time in the Mestalla. Real Madrid are absolutely destroying Valencia and go into the break five goals to the good. The home side are crumbling and a brace each from Ronaldo and Di Maria, as well as a goal from Higuain, have basically won Los Blancos this match by half time. What does Ernesto Valverde say in his team talk? Be sure to join us in 15 minutes for the second half! You wouldn't want to miss any of this, unless you are a Valencia fan!
Assist Mesut Özil
Goal Ángel Di María
GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL FOR REAL MADRID!!! This is a complete annihilation! Ozil slides a defence-splitting pass through the middle for Di Maria, who expertly converts into the bottom left corner! 5-0! This is crazy!
So unlucky from Guardado!! The Mexican picks up the ball 25 yards from goal and screws a lovely strike towards the top corner but it goes a whisker by the post!
Some member of the Valencia support have had enough. They have decided to go home and it is not even half time yet!
Assist Mesut Özil
Goal Cristiano Ronaldo
GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAL FOR REAL MADRID!!! Wonderful move! Di Maria drills the ball to the back post and Higuain delightfully flicks the ball into the path of Ronaldo, who clinically smashes the ball into the bottom left corner! 4-0! This game looks to be over already!
Yellow Card Fernando Gago
Ricardo Costa, in particular, just looks completely out-of-sorts playing at right-back. He is deputising for the suspended Joao Pereira but he looks susceptible every time someone is running at him.
What a nightmare this is turning into for Valencia. They haven't played particularly bad in midfield and attack but their defence has been woefully outclassed by the Madrid attacking foursome.
Assist Fabio Coentrao
Goal Cristiano Ronaldo
GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL FOR REAL MADRID!!! Madrid counterattack at electric pace and Ronaldo finds himself one-on-one with Rami. He does a couple of mesmerizing stepovers before driving a left-footed strike past Alves at the near post! 3-0! This is a demolition!
Assist Cristiano Ronaldo
Goal Ángel Di María
GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAL FOR REAL MADRID!!! Ronaldo picks up the ball inside the box to the left-hand side and turns Ricardo Costa inside out before picking out Di Maria with a perfect pass to the back post. The Argentine gratefully taps home. 2-0!
Diego Alves rescues Valencia again! Di Maria teasing a cross along the six yard box and Higuain directs an attempt towards goal, but the 'keeper is there with the diving save!
Great recovery tackle from Piatti. Madrid counterattack at pace down the left and Fabio Coentrao looks to turn inside but the retreating Valencia winger claws back the ball with an excellent challenge.
Yellow Card Fabio Coentrao
Good save from Diego Alves! Sami Khedira runs on to the ball 20 yards from goal and hits a powerful side-footed shot but the Valencia goalkeeper turns the ball over the bar with his legs!
Wasteful from Tino Costa! The Argentine runs into the box in the inside left channel but but blasts the ball over the bar when Soldado was standing waiting for a tap in just inside!
Apart from the save in the opening stages from Piatti, Casillas has not had a lot to do in the Madrid goal. Soldado looking isolated up top.
Yellow Card Jonas
Penalty shout for Valencia but Jonas is booked for diving! The Valencia man went down under the challenge of Higuain but the referee shows him a yellow card. The Mestalla crowd are fuming but it was a great decision from the ref! The Madrid man never touched him!
Not too much goalmouth action since Higuain's goal. It has mainly been a midfield battle with Khedira and Alonso just shading it over the trio of Valencia. Valverde's men need to be more creative in the final third.
Yellow Card Arbeloa
The first yellow card of the night goes to Arbeloa. The right-back is booked for a late challenge on Jonas. Pretty needless challenge really.
The game has became slightly scrappy in the last few minutes. Neither side has established an extended period of possession and there has been a few missed passes in the centre of midfield. Madrid looking the better team, though.
Valencia should be looking to get some joy against the makeshift back four of Madrid this evening. Sergio Ramos is suspended and Pepe and Marcelo are injured, so it is by no means a first choice defence tonight for the visitors.
What do we think of the game so far? Make sure to post your thoughts, feelings and predictions on the match on to the chat section of our Live Match Centre!
Higuain is now Real Madrid's joint top goalscorer against Valencia at the Mestalla. He is tied on six goals with Los Blancos legend, Alfredo Di Stefano.
Superb start to the match at the Mestalla. Valencia started at a very high tempo but Madrid have fought back and are now looking dominant. Valencia look horribly disjointed for Higuain's goal so they will need to quickly get their act together in defence.
Assist Ángel Di María
Goal Gonzalo Higuaín
GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAL FOR REAL MADRID!!! Higuain makes up for his earlier miss!! Mesut Ozil sends a pass down the channel for Di Maria who cuts inside before laying the ball on a plate for his compatriot, who expertly curls the ball into the corner with a left-footed strike! 1-0!
What a miss from Higuain!! Khedira gallops down the right-hand side and picks out the Argentine in the middle, who somehow directs the ball wide from eight yards! He had the whole goal to aim at! Valencia let off the hook.
Half-hearted penalty shout for Madrid. Ronaldo drives at pace into the box but a shoulder barge from Adil Rami sees the Portuguese go down inside the penalty area. The referee waves play on. Correct decision.
First action of the match for Iker Casillas. The ball breaks kindly to Piatti on the edge of the box and the Valencia man lashes a strike towards the bottom corner but it was a comfortable save in the end from the Madrid goalkeeper.
Jonas shows impressive trickery on the byline to earn a corner kick out of Varane at the near post. Piatti swings in the corner kick but Ronaldo gets the ball away with a powerful header.
Valencia certainly look to be out for revenge tonight. Ernesto Valverde's men were unhappy about some of the refereeing decisions in the Copa del Rey match midweek, and are getting right in the face of Madrid in the opening stages.
Fiery start to the match. The referee is already the subject of jeers from the home support as he calls for a foul on Di Maria. The Argentine makes the most of a challenge from Banega and Madrid get the free kick.
We are under way at the Mestalla!
A massive boost for Real Madrid tonight is the return of Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese was suspended for the previous La Liga match with Osasuna, in which Mourinho's men could only manage a draw.
The home side will be out for revenge as Real Madrid won the Copa del Rey battle between the sides on Tuesday. A Karim Benzema strike and an own goal from Andres Guardado ensured the victory for Los Blancos.
Valencia have been rejuvenated under Ernesto Valverde's reign as manager. They have won seven of their last nine matches in all competitions under their new boss. However, he serves a touchline ban tonight.
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Arbeloa, Varane, Albiol, Coentrao; Khedira, Alonso; Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo; Higuain
Valencia (4-3-3): Alves; Ricardo Costa, Rami, Ruiz, Guardado; Tino Costa, Banega, Gago; Piatti, Soldado, Jonas
I'm Martin Macdonald, and I'll be taking you through the action this evening. When these two lock horns, entertainment is usually the result. Let's hope we have more of the same tonight!
Good evening folks! Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Primera Division encounter between Valencia and Real Madrid at the Mestalla!
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