Real Madrid 3 - 0 Valencia highlights: Benzema bags a brace, Asensio scores on La Liga return

Here are the highlights, stats and commentary from the La Liga encounter between Real Madrid and Valencia at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium.

Real Madrid takes on Valencia at home on Thursday, trailing La Liga leader Barcelona by five points, with a game in hand.   -  Twitter

Welcome to Sportstar's highlights of the 2019-20 La Liga match between Real Madrid and Valencia which happened at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium on Thursday.

 

That's it for today. Thanks for tuning in!

MATCH REPORT | La Liga: Benzema guides Real Madrid to thumping 3-0 win over Valencia

This was a dominant performance from Real Madrid. Valencia created chances in the first half but the final 45 minutes fully belonged to the home team, which scored three and kept a clean sheet on the night.

Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard complemented each other well today and they were rewarded with the opening goal for their teamwork. Marco Asensio announced his return to La Liga from a long-term injury with a goal through a neat finish.

Benzema's amazing control and finish were on display during the third goal. Valencia never really recovered from Rodrigo's disallowed goal and the team struggled to match Real Madrid's tempo from thereon.

The win takes Real Madrid to just two points off league leader FC Barcelona, with nine games to go in the 2019/20 season. Valencia, on the other hand, stays eighth with 43 points, which is one below the European places.

AND THE MATCH IS OVER!

90+3' Real Madrid loses the ball and Valencia goes on the attempt to bag a consolation goal. Daniel Wass serves up a nice cross, but Thibaut Courtois punches the ball away. The home team's keeper just wastes time now, with his side leading 3-0 and less than a minute to go.

89' RED CARD!!! VALENCIA SUBSTITUTE KANGIN LEE IS SENT OFF!!! He had replaced Rodrigo in the middle just a few minutes ago. He kept kicking Ramos, without getting the ball, and he receives a red card. That looked like a harsh decision. Four minutes of stoppage time to be added on!

86' GGGGOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL!!!!!! REAL MADRID 3 - 0 VALENCIA!!! BENZEMA SCORES A WONDER GOAL!! Casemiro won the ball in midfield. Modric took it from there. He passed it on with a through ball to Asensio who immediately found Benzema inside the box. The French striker took a sublime touch to control the ball and slammed one pat Cillessen.

82' REAL MADRID CHANGE!! Eden Hazard makes way for Vinicius Junior. Real Madrid has 13 shots on goal, while Valencia has only two in this game. The host has completely dominated the second half.

79'  CORNER FOR VALENCIA! Cheryshev attempts to find Gameiro with a pass from outside the box, but Varane is quick to react and thwarts the attack. However, the away side messes up the set-piece.

74' GOOOOOAAAAALLLLLLL!!!!! REAL MADRID 2 - 0 VALENCIA!!! MARCO ASENSIO SCORES JUST SECONDS AFTER COMING ON!!!!!!!!!! This was his return after a long-term injury and he had replaced Federico Valverde. It was a Luka Modric corner and Benzema got a head to it. But the ball went outside the box where Mendy was waiting. The left-back dribbled past a Valencia player and passed it to Asensio, who slotted it home with his left foot from close range.

70' MORE SUBSTITUTIONS FOR VALENCIA! Ex-Real Madrid player Denis Cheryshev comes in for Carlos Soler, while Francis Coquelin replaces skipper Dani Parejo in the middle. Rodrigo gets the captain's armband now.

66' WHAT A CHANCE! Modric receives an amazing low pass on the edge of the box from Federico Valverde. He receives the ball and blasts it towards the post. Cillessen guesses his intention and dives at the right time to deny Real Madrid a second goal.

61' GOALLLLLLLL!!!! REAL MADRID 1 - 0 VALENCIA!! BENZEMA SCORES AND HAZARD ASSISTS!!!  Valencia's substitute Gameiro gave away the ball in midfield pretty easily and the Real Madrid counter was on. Luka Modric split the defence with a good pass to Hazard, who in turn found Benzema inside the box. The French forward made no mistake as he found the back of the net.

58' SUBSTITUTIONS! Valencia manager Alberto Caledes brings in Goncalo Guedes and Kevin Gameiro for Ferran Torres and Maxi Gomez respectively just before the hour mark. Zinedine Zodane hasn't made a change yet.

55' Rodrigo sends a long ball in, but Thibaut Courtois comfortably gathers the ball. Moments later, Carvajal lines up a shot from the edge of the box and goes for goal, but the effort is well blocked by Mangala.

52' CORNER FOR REAL MADRID! Carvajal attempts to send over a cross to find Benzema, but an Guillamon averts the danger. The set-piece is taken by Toni Kroos, who puts in a short pass to Luka Modric. However, Valencia manages to clear the ball with ease.

48' Carvajal sends a cross into the box, but the ball is cleared away. Valencia's counter is on. FOUL! Ferland Mendy takes out Ferran Torres with a shirt pull to stop the flow. Both teams haven't made any changes so far.

THE SECOND HALF IS UNDERWAY!

An exciting half of 45 minutes finally come to an end. Some end-to-end stuff from both teams and a contentious VAR-offside call has denied a Rodrigo opener for Valencia in the 21st minute.

The home team Real Madrid was dominating position for most parts of the first half. However, the visitor impressed with its counter-attack. Rodrigo has also hit the post once in this game.

Both Hazard and Benzema came close to scoring for Real Madrid, while Geoffrey Kondogbia's long ranger could have gone in on some other day. Forty-five minutes to go. Stay tuned!

THE FIRST HALF IS DONE AND DUSTED!

45+5' Benzema is unable to control an accurate defence-splitting pass from Hazard. Valencia centre-back Guillamon Sanmartin went in with a sliding tackle but his attempt failed as the ball hit the French striker and headed towards goal. However, Cillessen was the first to reach the ball.

45' WHAT A SHOT! Kondogbia latches on to a pass from Torres and lets one go with a swerving shot with his left from long range towards the goal. Courtois does well to punch it away. Five minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the first half!

42' A lofted cross from Karim Benzema is unsuccessful as Guillamon Sanmartin quickly clears the ball out of the penalty area. Both the goalkeepers - Courtois and Cillessen - have done well today.

38' FREE-KICK FOR REAL MADRID! Maxi Gomez makes a bad challenge and the referee blows his whistle for a foul. Daniel Carvajal sends the ball into the box, but his cross is blocked. The home team is enjoying a lot of possession now.

33' CORNER FOR REAL MADRID!! It's first one tonight! Luka Modric will take it, not Toni Kroos, who heads into the box. The set-piece comes into the box at a good height for Varane but Mangala overpowers him and clears the danger. AND IT'S TIME FOR THE COOLING BREAK!

29' VERY CLOSE! Carvajal produces a promising shot low towards the middle of the goal after his wonderful solo run, but Cillessen thwarts him with a fabulous save.

24' The referee heads to the monitor to have a closer look. AND THE GOAL IS OVERRULED! Valencia players are not happy. YELLOW CARD! Jose Gaya is booked for showing dissent. Maxi Gomez who was in the way of Soler's pass to Rodrigo had actually touched the ball in an offside position before it made its way into the goal.

21' GOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!! OR IS IT???!!!!! Rodrigo celebrates anyway! Brilliant pass from Carlos Soler. He anticipated Rodrigo's run to perfection. Sergio Ramos was sleeping and Rodrigo had it easy against Courtois. IT'S TIME FOR VAR CHECK!

18' Daniel Wass sends a teasing cross into the area, but Thibaut Courtois intercepts the ball. Eden Hazard is in some sort of form tonight. If he doesn't convert this into goals and assists, he'll be gutted.

15' WHAT A CHANCE! THIS TIME IT'S FOR VALENCIA! Rodrigo misses a huge opportunity as he receives a beautiful pass from Maxi Gomez. Think Thibaut Courtois might have got a hand on it. A crucial touch from the Real keeper as the ball hits the post.

12' VERY CLOSE! Eden Hazard should have done better there. Brilliant team move from the host. It started with Kroos in midfield and ended with a one-two between Karim Benzema and Hazard. The latter hit it straight at the keeper. Maybe, Benzema should have passed it to Valverde? The Uruguayan was unmarked.

10' Daniel Carvajal sends a cross into the box, but Valencia goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen comes off his line to gather the ball. Moments later, Toni Kroos attempts to score with a first-time shot from the edge of the box but his effort is saved by Cillessen.

6' FREE-KICK FOR VALENCIA! Casemiro with a silly tackle on Ferran Torres, the youngster who's been scouted by several top teams around the world.  Carlos Soler will take the set-piece. And Real captain Sergio Ramos heads it away to avert the danger.

3' FOUL! Valencia skipper Dani Parejo has been brought down. The home side Real Madrid has started brightly. It has exchanged some precise passes up front. Hazard has troubled the Valencia defence already.

AND THE MATCH IS UNDERWAY!

The managers Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid) and Alberto Celades (Valencia) are having some final words with their players.

01:15 AM IST: We are 15 minutes away from kick-off and some of the players have already made their way out.

The line-ups are out!

REAL MADRID XI: T Courtois (G), D Carvajal, R Varane, S Ramos (C), F Mendy, Casemiro, T Kroos, L Modric, F Valverde, E Hazard, K Benzema.

VALENCIA XI: J Cillessen (G), J Gaya, E Mangala, H Guillamon Sanmartin, D Wass, D Parejo (C), G Kondogbia, C Soler, M Gomez, Rodrigo.

MATCH PREVIEW:

Valencia CF takes on second-placed Real Madrid in the La Liga on Thursday night, with the latter sitting five points behind league leader FC Barcelona, having a game in hand. Valencia is placed eighth in the table with 43 points.

Real midfielder Isco has been ruled out of the match after sustaining a right hamstring injury. Isco, who has not played for the Los Blancos since their 2-0 win in the El Clasico in March, was named in the initial 23-man squad before he suffered the injury.

The club did not reveal how long he would be sidelined but Spanish media said he was likely to miss the Valencia game as well as Sunday’s trip to Real Sociedad.

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Valencia will also be without Brazilian central defender Gabriel Paulista who endured a muscle injury in training and missed its clash against Levante too.

Valencia coach Alberto Celades stated Real Madrid will be a hard nut to crack as it has been defensively solid this season besides having some of the best players around.

"Real Madrid has a lot of depth and will make things difficult for us. If there's anything different about them this season, it's how solid they are defensively. I think they're the team with the fewest goals conceded in La Liga. Real is a team filled with great players, a great manager," Celades said ahead of the game.

Where can you watch the game live in India?

The La Liga match between Real Madrid and Valencia will not be broadcast live in India on any television (TV) channel. However, you can watch the encounter by streaming it live online through Facebook WATCH.