Real Madrid produced another unconvincing display on Saturday but rode their luck to earn a 2-0 win at home to Valencia which allowed them to climb to fifth in the La Liga standings and soothe their recent troubles.
The injury bug had hit some of Real Madrid ‘s players. Alvaro Odriozola didn’t play against Roma due to injury, while Casemiro and Nacho remain out. Goalkeeper KeylorNavas is out but has returned to training after knee surgery.Valencia’s team member Winger Denis Cheryshev, who used to play for Real Madrid, has been out since Oct. 21 with a muscle injury and has yet to return. He’s the club’s only injury concern entering this one. And because of these injuries Valencia has been able to do fairly well at the Santiago Bernabeu in past seasons, and Real isn’t playing with a ton of confidence.
Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari says he is not listening to speculation about Isco and why the midfielder has hardly featured since he took over as coach, writes Ben Hayward.The 26-year-old did not start any of the Argentine’s first five fixtures in charge, playing just 78 minutes from the bench in those games, and was left out of the match day squad for Tuesday night’s Champions League win away to Roma.
The European champions, who were humbled 3-0 by tiny Eibar last week, took a fortuitous lead when Valencia midfielder Daniel Wass nodded a Dani Carvajal cross into his own net in the eighth minute after former Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista had failed to clear the danger.
The visitors, knocked out of the Champions League in mid-week, let Madrid off the hook on three occasions in the second half when Santi Mina and Paulista failed to hit the target with glorious chances from inside the area. Llorente provided some much-needed balance to the team which has been lacking in the absence of usual anchor Casemiro, and Madrid controlled the first half without giving their fans much to get excited about besides their opening goal.
Valencia came out with renewed energy and spirit in the second half and took the game to Madrid but failed to keep their cool whenever they managed to find an opening. “We are tired after two very demanding games but we’re very happy with the victory,” Carvajal told reporters. “We had a very good first half then Valencia took a step forward in the second half and had a couple of chances but they left space open and we managed to finish them off.”