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Copa del Rey
January 15, 2013
• Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
Referee: César Muñiz Fernández
• Attendance: 65000
K. Benzema 37'
A. Guardado 73' (own goal)
That's all from me for tonight guys. Thanks for joining me! Good night.
FULL-TIME: REAL MADRID 2-0 VALENCIA Jose Mourinho's side somehow won this Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg without conceding, thanks to a first-half goal from Karim Benzema and then a fortuitous own goal from Andres Guardado after the break. Jonas had two chances to score for Valencia but wasted both of those, while the away team's goalkeeper Vicente Guaita pulled off two fantastic saves from Cristiano Ronaldo late on. A strange game to watch at the Bernabeu, with Valencia easily a match for their opponents, yet it is Madrid that take a 2-0 lead into the second leg.
90' + 3'
Yellow CardSami Khedira
90' + 3'
Some fine defensive play from Alonso stops Piatti from getting a cross in on the right for the away side, and after bringing the ball out from the back the referee blows his whistle to signal the end.
90' + 2'
Yellow card for Khedira on the brink of full-time. The Madrid midfielder cynically pulls back Gago on the halfway line as Valencia try and attack in the final moments of the game.
Guardado comes flying into Essien and Madrid have a free kick right at the end of normal time and a chance to wile away some valuable seconds.
That is atrocious from Parejo! The former Madrid man wastes a glorious chance to grab a goal back by firing the free kick over all of his teammates and out for a throw-in to Madrid.
Free kick to Valencia, a yard outside the Madrid box on the left, right on the byline...
THAT WAS NEARLY SUBLIME FROM OZIL!! The Madrid No. 10 somehow gets past Piatti and Guardado on the right before cutting in to the area and dinking a shot towards the bottom left corner that bounces just past Guaita's right-hand post. That was so so close to being an outrageously good goal!
What is Rami doing there??? The centre-back of all people goes down theatrically under little pressure from Albiol inside the Madrid box. He appears to see the error of his ways immediately though, and gets up quickly before walking quietly back to his defensive position.
Valencia bring another former Madrid player on as Fernando Gago is introduced at the expense of Tino Costa.
Madrid are hunting for a third here, and it's only Guaita that is standing in their way as Valencia's defence has started to crumble in front of him.
ANOTHER OUTSTANDING STOP FROM GUAITA!! Ronaldo is the man denied again, as Guaita tips his effort from 15 yards round the post superbly.
GREAT SAVE FROM GUAITA TO DENY RONALDO!! Unselfish play from Ozil serves a chance on a plate for Ronaldo but his side-footed shot is kept out in brilliant fashion by the Valencia goalkeeper.
The away side are trying to grab a goal here but are leaving gaps in defence as they commit men forward...
Yellow CardXabi Alonso
Soldado is given a yellow card in the aftermath of that second goal, after shouting at the referee. He's got every right to be frustrated the Valencia forward, his team do not deserve to be behind in this game.
Yellow CardRoberto Soldado
Own GoalA. Guardado
AN OWN GOAL FROM GUARDADO MAKES IT 2-0!! All three substitutes combine to extend Madrid's lead as Coentrao races on to a pass from Di Maria before cutting it back to Higuain who then forces the ball on to the arm of Guardado and into the back of the net as the defender dives in to tackle the Argentine.
I cannot believe Valencia are still trailing here, they have dominated for large periods of this match. But, as usual, Madrid still look very dangerous on the counter.
Soldado does very well to keep a long pass in play as it looked destined to go out for a Madrid goal kick, and after playing it back to Piatti, Valencia then win a corner.
Albiol is booked against his former club after getting nowhere near the ball as he challenges Jonas on the halfway line.
Yellow CardRaúl Albiol
Mourinho makes his final change of the evening. The goalscorer Benzema comes off to be replaced by Gonzalo Higuain, who is another Madrid player that has spent a spell on the sidelines recently.
Yellow CardVíctor Ruiz
Chances coming thick-and-fast for both teams at the moment, and how a goal for either side would change the complexion of this match. Valencia would love an away goal to take back to the Mestalla for the second leg!
JONAS MISSES A SITTER!! Casillas parries a low strike from Soldado straight into the path of the attacker 10 yards out, but he inexplicably shoots wide with the empty net gaping before him! How was that not 1-1??
SOLDADO. OFFSIDE. AGAIN. And again that is such a tight call! The Spanish marksman hit the crossbar after latching on to the pass from Banega, I think if that had found the back of the net he may have made more of an appeal against that decision!
PIATTI FIRES OVER FOR VALENCIA! The Argentine swings a shot high over the Madrid crossbar after finding a pocket of space from which to get a strike away 25 yards from goal.
RONALDO HEADS STRAIGHT AT GUAITA! The Portuguese forward has a chance to make it 2-0 to Madrid but his header from a corner is directed right into the arms of the Valencia goalkeeper. A yard either side of him and that would have been a goal!
Ángel Di María
Madrid do make that second change, as Modric is replaced by Di Maria.
Essien does well to head a corner away but Valencia immediately work the ball forward and AGAIN Soldado is flagged offside. That one, unlike some of the previous decisions, was correct.
The Madrid fans are beginning to vent their frustrations at their side's performance here. Valencia are beginning to get back on top.
SOLDADO IS FLAGGED OFFSIDE AGAIN! That's a mistake from the linesman! Valencia's lone frontman was clean through on goal there after springing Madrid's offside trap, as Essien was clearly playing him on!
Ozil has taken quite a battering since the interval, with Guardado the latest in a succession of Valencia players to go clattering into the Madrid No. 10.
Angel Di Maria is warming up on the sidelines for los Merengues. Are we about to see a second change here?
A poor touch from Essien gifts Valencia a goal kick on the right, but not before Jonas flies in with a fairly ill-timed challenge on the on-loan Chelsea midfielder. Surprisingly the referee doesn't give a free kick, Jonas was miles away from getting the ball there.
Fortunately for Valencia the Brazilian looks to be okay to continue here. That was touch-and-go for a second. Poor guy.
Jonas has gone down clutching what looks like his groin after blocking Ozil's cross. That has got to hurt!
VICTOR RUIZ SHOULD SCORE!! The centre-back gets too much on his header and the ball loops over the crossbar from the free kick. That was a brilliant opportunity for Valencia to equalise!
Free kick to Valencia on the right after a foul on Costa by Coentrao...
That's ambitious from Benzema! The Madrid man attempts a first-time volley from the left side of the Valencia box but fails to connect cleanly with the ball and Guaita is able to gather it easily.
Ozil whips the ball towards Albiol but Valencia's Soldado is back inside his own box helping out his team defensively to head the ball away from danger.
Tino Costa is yellow carded by the referee after he pulls Khedira to the floor following a cheeky nutmeg by the Madrid midfielder. Another free kick for los Blancos, this one on the right-hand side about 10 yards outside the penalty area.
Yellow CardTino Costa
Piatti plays a neat through ball towards Soldado on the right for Valencia but the Spain international is flagged offside for not the first time this evening.
Valencia get the ball rolling for the second half. There's one change to report for either side. Marcelo, who has only just returned from injury, has been taken off for Fabio Coentrao.
Out come the teams for the second half. How do we see this match going? I want to hear your full-time predictions, send them over to me on Twitter @charliefscott.
Join me in 10 minutes for the second half of this Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg!
HALF-TIME: REAL MADRID 1-0 VALENCIA Karim Benzema's 11th strike of the campaign separates the two teams at the Santiago Bernabeu, with the striker scoring a well-taken goal shortly before half-time after Valencia had looked the more likely to find the back of the net. Jonas has twice come close for the visitors, while Luka Modric should have scored for Madrid before Benzema's opener.
45' + 2'
And there is the half-time whistle!
45' + 1'
Costa hangs the set piece up towards Rami but Madrid clear the ball away, courtesy of what looked like a handball from Ricardo Carvalho. Valencia should have had a penalty!
The visitors have a free kick right on the brink of half-time though. They're sending their big men forward from the back for this one...
Valencia have looked a bit disjointed since going behind, and have given the ball away on a number of occasions in the last few minutes. Piatti in particular appears to have lost his concentration having clashed with Marcelo and misplaced two or three passes.
Benzema showed great awareness to step over Essien's pass and let it run through to Khedira before receiving the ball from the Germany international to give Madrid the lead. Valencia will have to ask questions at half-time about why Essien was allowed to carry the ball so far though. He drove forward with it for about 50 yards from his right-back position before passing to Khedira.
Marcelo and Piatti are resuming Brazilian-Argentine hostilities on the near side after the Valencia attacker catches the Madrid full-back. Both are told to get on with it by the referee though, who is having absolutely none of Marcelo's protests for a free kick.
I'm not sure how Madrid are leading here. Valencia looked well on top before Benzema just scored!
BENZEMA SCORES AGAINST THE RUN OF PLAY!! The Madrid forward strokes a shot past Guaita to give his side a 1-0 lead after they countered with lightning pace. The France international took Khedira's pass in his stride as he raced into the box before beating Guaita at his near post.
STRONG SAVE FROM CASILLAS TO KEEP IT 0-0!! Jonas has another chance to open the scoring, and this arguably an easier chance than his previous one. The ball is played to him 10 yards out but his side-footed effort is beaten away brilliantly by Casillas.
JONAS COMES WITHIN INCHES OF SCORING!! The Valencia attacker curls a superb strike towards the top right corner of Casillas' goal that flies just over the crossbar and onto the roof of the net. Casillas didn't even move! That was so close to being 1-0 to the visitors!
Modric does very well to win the ball back off Tino Costa for los Blancos after being sold short by a pass out of defence from Essien. Costa then fouls the midfielder as he looks to retrieve possession and Madrid have yet another free kick to play with.
The second corner is played towards Guardado on the edge of the Madrid box but his attempt to strike the ball is painful to watch as he strikes nothing but air and the ball runs out of play for a throw-in to the home team.
Albiol gets there ahead of Rami for Madrid but his clearance is shanked behind for another corner after being picked up by Modric. Not sure what he was thinking there!
Valencia win a corner on the left...
EVEN BETTER COVERING FROM PIATTI UP THE OTHER END!! Ronaldo somehow dances past two tackles on the edge of the Valencia box before threading a pass through to Ozil, but just as he pulls back to shoot Piatti arrives from nowhere to steal the ball and hack it away. Brilliant defensive play from a player who you wouldn't expect to even be in that position on the pitch!
Good covering from Michael Essien! The auxiliary right-back sprints from his position on the right into the centre to beat Jonas to Soldado's fine flick-on and hammer the ball into the stands. No. Nonsense.
Madrid's Alonso lofts a free kick towards the towering Albiol at the back post but Rami beats the former Valencia man in the air, as the away side's defence continues to frustrate their opponents.
Valencia's defence have caught Benzema and Ozil in offside positions in this last few minutes, as Madrid grow in confidence in this first half.
SOLDADO IS NOT HAPPY WITH THAT OFFSIDE CALL! Valencia's in-form striker looks devastated as he is flagged offside as he latches on to Pablo Piatti's pass from the right. I thought he was onside too, he looked to have timed his run perfectly!
Modric finds the overlapping Marcelo with a neat pass as the Brazilian bursts into the Valencia box but his first-time effort is ill-timed and fails to even reach Guaita's goal.
I can't imagine that happens very often at the Bernabeu, an away side clearly dominating possession. Apart from when a certain Catalan club come to town.
SURPRISING FIRST-HALF POSSESSION STAT: Real Madrid 32%-68% Valencia
You can tell Marcelo hasn't played in a while. He's just sent another horrible pass forward from left back that isn't even close to finding Ronaldo who is positioned high up on the left-hand side.
Seconds later Casillas is called upon once more, as he catches Jonas' fairly tame header following decent play from Pereira on the right.
DECENT STOP FROM CASILLAS! The Madrid goalkeeper is called into action for the first time to keep out Tino Costa's driven effort from distance.
A sloppy pass from Marcelo is intercepted by Pereira on the right for Valencia, but he is unable to take advantage of the Madrid left-back being out of position as his pass towards Jonas is wayward.
Congratulations to the Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho by the way. As he continues to flirt with most major clubs within 1000 miles of the Spanish capital he has reached a career milestone, with this his 600th game as a coach.
The Valencia goalkeeper Guaita pulls off his first save of the evening to deny Ronaldo, after the 27-year-old sent a swerving shot goalwards from 18 yards. Guaita's parried save is then cleared away to safety by Rami.
VALENCIA WANT A PENALTY HERE!! Adil Rami attacks a corner from the left and his header appears to strike the chest/arm of Raul Albiol on the six-yard line. The whole Valencia team remonstrate towards the referee but he waves play on and Madrid look to counter.
MODRIC SHOULD SCORE FOR MADRID!! The former Spurs man drags a shot wide of the right-hand post after linking well with Benzema on the edge of the Valencia box. You would have backed Modric to score there!
RONALDO FIRES THE FREE KICK OVER!! The Portuguese star strikes the resulting set piece high over the crossbar. He has had two attempts from decent positions so far, but is yet to test Guaita.
Madrid have another free kick after Andres Guardado crashes into Ozil. Xabi Alonso quickly fires it into the path of Ronaldo, who then draws a foul from Joao Pereira 30 yards from the Valencia goal, which means los Blancos have what I make their fifth free kick of the game.
Dani Parejo, another former Real Madrid canterano, looks to have started in a withdrawn midfield role for the away side, with Ever Banega pushing further forward to support Roberto Soldado.
A divine spin and pass from Mesut Ozil nearly finds Karim Benzema inside the Valencia box, but the French striker cannot quite get a toe to the through ball as Guaita sprints from his line to gather the ball.
Ronaldo has been at the centre of everything in the opening few minutes here. He has just been caught on the knee with a heavy challenge from Tino Costa, and it takes him a while to get to his feet and even then he is walking rather gingerly.
RONALDO'S FREE KICK WHISTLES WIDE!! The attacker sends a dipping effort just past Vicente Guaita's left-hand post from the set piece.
Real Madrid get us underway, and Cristiano Ronaldo has started the game explosively by winning a finely-positioned free kick 30 yards from goal after driving past a couple of challenges.
The teams are out on the pitch at the Bernabeu, and we are just moments from kick off...
Valencia, meanwhile, make do without their captain David Albelda after he picked up a calf injury against Sevilla, with Tino Costa replacing the veteran in central midfield. Former Madrid player Roberto Soldado will hope to get among the goals tonight, and comes into the match in fine form having scored eight in his last eight appearances.
Quite a few changes in that Madrid line-up, with Michael Essien, Ricardo Carvalho, Marcelo, Mesut Ozil, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema all coming in having not started against Osasuna for one reason or another. Jose Mourinho will be happy to have Marcelo back at his disposal, with the Brazilian full-back having spent a lengthy spell on the sidelines because of a foot injury. And of course the return of Ronaldo is always a plus!
Subs: Diego Alves, R. Costa, Cissokho, Gago, Barragan, Viera, Valdez
Valencia (4-2-3-1): Guaita; Pereira, Rami, Ruiz, Guardado; Banega, T. Costa; Piatti, Parejo, Jonas; Soldado
Subs: Adan, Varane, Coentrao, Arbeloa, Higuain, Callejon, Di Maria
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Essien, Albiol, Carvalho, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Khedira; Modric, Ozil, Ronaldo; Benzema
Fans of los Blancos will be ecstatic to see Cristiano Ronaldo back from suspension and straight into the starting XI for this game, after Real Madrid looked impotent up front without him against Osasuna at the weekend. I've got the full line-ups for both teams coming right up...
My name is Charlie Scott, and I will be guiding you through this tie with a series of potentially exciting updates. Feel free to get in touch with your thoughts on the match at any point during proceedings by going on the Twitter machine and sending your views to @charliefscott.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of this evening's Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg match, that pits an out-of-sorts Real Madrid against an in-form Valencia side at the Santiago Bernabeu in the Spanish capital.
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