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Real Madrid 2-0 Valencia: Key Talking Points As Los Blancos Cruise Their Way To A Routine Victory At

In what was a routine second-half display at the Santiago Bernabeu on Thursday night, Real Madrid cruised their way to a 2-0 victory against Valencia.

Knowing that they couldn’t afford another slip-up in the Spanish capital, Los Blancos didn’t have to get out of third gear as goals from Marco Asensio and Vinicius Junior clinched all a deserved win on home soil.

Once again cutting Barcelona’s lead at the top of the La Liga table to five points, the reigning Spanish champions also piled more pressure on a Valencia squad who are enduring a domestic nightmare.

With the Bats now claiming just a single point from any of their last five top-flight appearances, Los Murcelagos would have always known that they faced a monumental challenge here.

In a showdown that was largely one-way traffic from the Santiago Bernabeu, we have taken a look at the main talking points.

Madrid get the response they were demanding

Eventually having to settle for a 0-0 stalemate at home against Real Sociedad last weekend, Carlo Ancelotti was calling on an immediate response from his superstars on Thursday night.

However, while Los Blancos might have watched Barcelona claim a 2-1 victory away at Real Betis 24 hours prior to their showdown in the capital, the Spanish giants have found a much-welcomed boost over the past few weeks.

Despite coming under real scrutiny on January 15th as they suffered a shock 3-1 drumming against Barca in this year’s Super League final, Ancelotti’s side have come roaring back in some style.

Extending on their Copa del Rey adventure last month as they eventually claimed a 3-1 romp against bitter rivals Atletico Madrid, Los Blancos are enjoying a five-match domestic unbeaten run.

Once again cutting Barcelona’s lead at the top of the La Liga standings to just five points, the one-time Everton boss will be desperate for his side to keep up their recent momentum.

With their Champions League knockout stage campaign set to get underway in a fortnights time, Madrid will be next seen on Sunday afternoon when they travel to Mallorca.

Benzema is the man to spearhead Los Blancos’ charge

While Karim Benzema might have failed to get himself on the scoresheet on Thursday night, the French superstar once again stole the show as he produced both assist for Vinicius and Asensio.

Although the reigning Ballon d’Or winner might have found himself at the heart of a World Cup controversy over the winter, Real Madrid’s attacking icon is enjoying yet another domestic flurry.

Settling a host of records last season as Ancelotti’s side were crowned both domestic and European champions, the one-time Lyon starlet will know he has a huge role to play in 2023.

Still sat five points adrift of Barca and defending their La Liga title, Benzema has already notched seven post-World Cup strikes and has underlined his status as Ancelotti’s MVP.

Becoming more than just a goalscorer over the past 24 months, the 35-year-old now has 12 direct goal involvements in as many top-flight appearances this season.

Making Champions League history last year and becoming the first French player since Zinedine Zidane in 1998 to lift the Ballon d’Or trophy, Benzema has his sights set on writing another chapter in Real Madrid folklore.

Valencia are looking over their shoulder

While Valencia might have opened the 2022/23 campaign with their sights set on mounting a genuine European charge, the Bats now find themselves at the heart of a La Liga nightmare.

Putting in another toothless display as they slumped to a 1-0 loss away at Real Valladolid, that result was enough to cost Gennaro Gattuso his job in the Mestalla dugout.

Parting ways with the former AC Milan boss after just six months in charge, Valencia have now won just one of their last 11 straight La Liga appearances on either side of the World Cup’s winter break.

Likewise, along with crashing out of this year’s Copa del Rey following a 3-1 loss at home against Athletic Bilbao on January 26th, Thursday’s guests have also collected just one point from their previous five top-flight battles.

Quickly gaining a reputation for their extended struggles in the final third, Valencia suddenly find themselves at the heart of a relegation scrap in 2023.

Heading into the weekend’s fixtures holding just a single-point buffer from slipping into the drop zone, the Bats are also still searching for a new permanent first-team boss.

Match Report:

Real Madrid: Courtois, Nacho, Militao, Rudiger, Camavinga, Modric, Kroos, Ceballos, Asensio, Benzema, V. Junior

Subs: Carvajal, Valverde, Tchouameni, Rodrygo

Valencia: Mamardashvili, Foulquier, Paulista, Diakhaby, Gaya, Almeida, Guillamon, Musah, Castillejo, Cavani, Lino

Subs: Perez, Comert, Andre, Lato, Moriba

Goals: Asensio (52′), V. Junior (54′)

Yellow Cards: Real Madrid: Nacho, Asensio, Benzema – Valencia: Diakhaby

Red Cards: Paulista

Referee: Javier Alberola Rojas

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