REPORT | 29/04/2017 | Alberto NavarroCristiano Ronaldo's headed effort and Marcelo's 86th minute strike clinch three vital points against Valencia.
- La Liga
- Matchday 35
It wasn't long before the chances started to flow either, when after 12 minutes, Cristiano Ronaldo crossed for Benzema, but his header ended up in the gloves of Diego Alves. Just six minutes later, the Frenchman tried his luck once more, this time with a right-footed strike from the edge of the area, but the outcome was much the same. You got the feeling the hosts were closing in on the opening goal, and sure enough, it arrived just the half-hour mark. Carvajal swung in a sumptuous cross from the right on 27 minutes and Cristiano Ronaldo was on the end of it to guide the ball home with a composed header.
With the scoreline at 1-0 and with either side barely fashioning any chances following the hosts' opener the half-time interval arrived. The second period got off to a far more frantic start. Within the opening 10 minutes, the Whites had two chances to have doubled their advantage. Marcelo played a first-time pass into Benzema and his effort came crashing back off the upright and as Madrid continued their attack, referee, Gil Manzano, awarded a penalty after Dani Parejo hauled Luka Modric down in the area. However, Diego Alves guessed right to keep Cristiano Ronaldo's spot-kick out.
The pattern of play remained the same, with Real Madrid probing in search of a second to give them some breathing space. On 78' Marco Asensio shaped in across and Cristiano Ronaldo, who wasn't expecting the mistake from the defender, contrived to fire the ball over the bar. It remained a lively contest and Valencia restored parity on 82' courtesy of a perfectly struck Parejo free-kick.
Marcelo wins it
There were nearly eight minutes remaining and this Real Madrid side just never give in, ingrained in this team's DNA is a willingness to fight right the death and four minutes later they provided further evidence of this. Marcelo picked the ball up on the edge of the box and earned himself a yard as he cut inside, before unleashing a right-footed effort that had just enough curl on it to fly beyond Alves's despairing dive and into the corner of the net. This victory sees the Whites pick up three precious points in their bid for the LaLiga title as attentions now turn to the Champions League semi-final clash against Atlético.