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Valencia CF Vs. Real Madrid Recap: Madrid Wins a Thriller

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Real Madrid had the guts to get a tough win in a hostile environment last night. Things looked very good for los blancos at halftime; they were up 0-1 and Valencia didn't have a chance to score in the first 45 minutes. Madrid is still three points ahead of FC Barcelona, who could only get a 2-2 draw in Mestalla.

Things were sloppy in the first few minutes. Luckily enough for Real Madrid, Xabi Alonso delivered a long pass to Karim Benzema, who scored one of the best goals of the whole season. He controlled the ball very quickly and put it into the next in an amazing watch. That goal is certainly a must see.

We dominated the first half with the Lass-Alonso-Khedira midfield. This was the first time Mourinho played the 4-3-3 formation in the season. And it was the right thing to do. Valencia was frightened to leave spaces for Madrid's powerful counter attacks, so it's clear that Valencia's lineup tried to go to the counter as well. Lass completed a very serious game and prevented them from doing so.

In the start of the second half, Madrid lost control of both the ball and the game while the referee excessively punished Madrid players with yellow cards. Khedira tried to fill the box to box spot, and even though he was good in the defensive end, he did not shine as much offensively.

When everything looked worse for Real Madrid and Valencia was closer to tying the game, Mesut Özil crossed a corner-kick. Sergio Ramos scored the goal with a nice header after the ball hit the post. Then he went to the bench to celebrate the goal with the whole team. That was a demonstration of unity among Real Madrid players.

Four minutes after Ramos' goal, Casillas stopped a very clear shot for Valencia, but the ball went to Soldado. He then shot a volley which couldn't be stopped by Marcelo at the goal line.

Madrid reacted very well to that goal, and when Valencia tried to push a little bit more to get the tie, Pepe launched a counter attack. Diego Alves went out of the goal to try to clear the danger. Cristiano fought for the ball, and luckily for him and his team, he gained control in a good situation. The Portuguese just had to place the ball into the net saving Albelda's body, and so he did, giving his team a 1-3 lead.

Valencia fought back and when Marcelo relaxed too much and thought the ball was going out, Pablo Hernández crossed the ball in the last meter and Soldado pushed the ball inside just before Ramos could send the ball away.

Mourinho introduced Granero to give the midfield a break. The last minutes were very hard for los blancos and Valencia had two chances to tie the game. The first one was Aduriz's long distance shot, but Casillas was fast enough to prevent that goal from going in.

In the last play of the game, even Diego Alves was trying to score. Rami sent the ball to the post with his head and Aduriz got the ball. He shot with his left foot and Higuaín stopped the ball with his chest. It almost looked like it was a hand ball, and Valencia players were asking the referee to call that action, but the replay showed the ball hit the Argentinian striker's chest.

This was a very important win for Real Madrid. It was the first serious test for Mourinho's team after a FIFA break and they have surely delivered.

Now, Dinamo Zagreb will visit Santiago Bernabeu. Mourinho will need all of his players to go through this month, so we might see some rotations in the European fixture.

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