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Immediate Reaction: Real Valladolid 0 - 2 Real Madrid; La Liga 2022 - 2023

Real Valladolid v Real Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Real Valladolid 0 - 2 Real Madrid (Karim Benzema x2). Here’s our quick reaction at the final whistle. Still to come: Player ratings, post-game quotes, post-game podcast, analytical breakdowns, and much more.

Real Madrid officially end 2022 on a winning note, taking care of business in their last game of the calendar year by grinding out a tough win over Real Valladolid at Estadio José Zorilla.

Everyone watched this game with intrigue, in part because there was a curiosity on how Real Madrid’s form would be affected after the World Cup, and in turn, how the players who stayed home would — or wouldn’t — hit the ground running.

Truth be told, Real Madrid struggled in several departments. Some of the World Cup players laboured to find their feet, their touch, and their passes. The team hard trouble creating chances, got very little (if at all) production from the right wing, and Vinicius, who was quite active getting into good positions in the box, had little space to work with. It didn’t help that even some of the players who didn’t go to the World Cup, like Karim Benzema, really struggled on the ball. (That last sentence, admittedly, is a strange one to write considering he scored the game’s two only goals.)

Despite struggling to create, and all the while relying on two fantastic Thibaut Courtois saves which guaranteed a clean sheet, Real Madrid did create enough to win this game, and deserved their three points. In the first half, Benzema missed a sitter in the box; Antonio Rudiger couldn’t redirect a wide-open header at the far post; and Carlo Ancelotti’s men probably should’ve had a penalty when a hand ball wasn’t called.

It’s hard to know where the tide eventually turned in Madrid’s favour, but it was somewhere between the introduction of Eduardo Camavinga for Dani Ceballos (the latter of which had a solid showing) in the 69th minute, and the referee awarding Real Madrid a penalty which Benzema converted in the 83rd minute.

Six minutes later, Camavinga carved Valladolid to set up Benzema for the nail in the coffin:

Real Madrid secured three precious points.

Stay tuned for the post-game podcast, and plenty more, coming up later tonight on the site, which will contain much more detailed analysis.

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