The Blancos resume running quickly at the top of the standings thanks to the 4-1 at the Bernabeu. The advantage over Sevilla is eight points, but with two more games
After the blackout at the beginning of the year, Ancelotti’s Real Madrid resumes grinding the game and the points. The defeat with Getafe is already a thing of the past, proof of this is the clear 4-1 with which the Blancos get rid of a Valencia who, except for the knockout at the end of the year, had collected seven consecutive useful results, bringing them one step away from the Champions League. Decisive, as usual since the beginning of the season, the attacking couple Benzema-Vinicius, who packs the deadly one-two between the first and second half before closing the accounts after an hour of play. The evening has a special flavor especially for the Frenchman, because he crossed the line of 300 goals in the merengue shirt by signing the 22nd goal in the last 25 outings between La Liga and Champions. The Madrid players thus bring the advantage over Sevilla to eight points, but with two games more than the Andalusians.
Waiting to find Carvajal too, hopefully for the Super Cup semifinal against Barça on Wednesday, Ancelotti recovers most of the holders out of the cup due to Covid, injuries or simple turnover like Benzema. Modric, Vinicius, Mendy are back in action, and for the first time this season the Blancos are in full ranks at least in the middle of the field. The usual three-way relay to complete the trident is won once again by Asensio, the man who provokes Ancelotti’s first screams after 5 ‘due to two dangerous turnovers in his own trocar.
Yes, because Valencia attack without the slightest awe. The intensity and the easy dribble of Bordalàs’ eleven put pressure on the home rearguard. The Blancos, on the other hand, live essentially on flames, those inspired by an electric Vinicius, protagonist of the first noteworthy choral initiative at 15 ‘after a nice header by Militao neutralized by Cillessen’s reflexes. The guests test Courtois ‘reflexes with Guillamon and Guedes, but starting from the half hour Madrid increases the laps with Asensio (to which Cillessen responds instinctively at 30’) and Benzema (right to the side of a breath). The pressure of the Blancos becomes pounding, Modric shakes the crossbar with a powerful left from the edge and, at 42 ‘, the turning point on a central percussion by Casemiro: the Brazilian is good at intercepting an incorrect support on the trocar and earning the penalty that Benzema transforms coolly, sending the ball under the intersection.
Madrid sinks the blow again in the 52nd minute and closes the games, thanks to the award-winning company Vinicius-Benzema: lightning one-two on the edge of the host area, central breakthrough of the Brazilian and cold support to displace Cillessen. A lethal flash, that of the Franco-Brazilian couple, already responsible for 28 goals out of the 44 scored by the Blancos in 21 days. Valencia did not stand up to the blow and collapsed after an hour, while Vinicius raged by placing his personal brace in the 61st minute, leaning on the net a right rejected by Asensio. The Blancos take their breath away only in the last quarter of an hour, when Valencia have a brief gasp driven by the generous penalty awarded for Mendy’s foul on André. Guedes shortens the distance, but Ancelotti’s team manages the final with tranquility, closing with a flourish with Benzema’s poker: dry dribbling on Gayà and winning shot at 88 ‘which is worth the 301 seal, while Ancelotti’s troop digs a furrow in classification difficult to fill.
January 8 – 11:01 pm
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