Real Madrid 2-0 Valencia (Asensio & Vinícius Júnior). Three more points at home. Here is my immediate reaction to the game. Up next: Player ratings, post game quotes and a podcast.
The fixture list had been tough on Real Madrid in recent weeks, and with the visit of Valencia there would be one more challenge to face before the Club World Cup began. Eduardo Camavinga started the game at left-back after training for that position during the week. The in form Dani Ceballos continued on his run of games, with Marco Asensio coming into the attack ahead of him. Karim Benzema was the skipper once more.
✅ Our starting XI @valenciacf_en! #RealMadridValencia pic.twitter.com/t6WerempHB— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) February 2, 2023
Marco Asensio had a lively start as he tested the keeper in the first few minutes but his shot was stopped superbly. If you thought we were in for excitement because of this start, then you were wrong. The play very quickly winded down, which many fans were praying would not happen in an important game. Karim Benzema set up Vinícius Júnior inside the area who forced another good save from the keeper. Eduardo Camavinga then hit the side netting from a similar position, after Benzema again was on hand to set up a chance. Éder Militão was forced to swap with Dani Carvajal after being unable to continue due to injury. Madrid had a goal before half time to soften that blow - as Antonio Rüdiger headed cleanly into the net. The referee used VAR to determine that there was a foul in the build up however, and the goal was disallowed. 0-0 at half time.
On his 200th game for Real Madrid, Vini Jr scores his 49th goal for the club— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) February 2, 2023
He’s got 49 assists to date too!
He’s the 3rd youngest RM player to reach his 200th game with the club after Raul & Iker Casillas
It is typical for a shrugged performance to carry on over into the second half, but Real Madrid really turned up the heat after coming back out. Marco Asensio picked up the ball outside of the area, and unleashed a trademark strike into the corner to gift his side the lead. Two minutes later, that lead was doubled. Vinícius, on his 200th appearance, raced towards goal with the ball before finishing low past the keeper. Luka Modrić then almost immediately made it three, but his shot was saved really well by the keeper, and Karim Benzema then missed the rebound. A frustrated Valencia then went down to ten men after Gabriel Paulista chopped Vinícius down needlessly, causing a scene before being sent in for an early shower. Fede Valverde then tired his luck after coming in off the bench, but the keeper added one more good save to his collection for the day. Madrid enjoyed the majority of the ball, but despite being a man up - were not creating that many dangerous chances. Rodrygo Goes almost hit home a free-kick, but it ended up being light work for this keeper. That capped off the action for this one, with Madrid coming away with a 2-0 win. Happy with that victory?