Real Madrid looked set to continue their ascent of La Liga but were halted by a pillaged Valencia side. Having lost Rodrigo, Francis Coquelin and Dani Parejo in the summer, Valencia also lost Geoffrey Kondogbia to Atletico Madrid after the capital club utilised their right to a signing having lost Thomas Partey to Arsenal.
4 losses so far this season saw former Watford boss Javi Gracia facing the possibility of a relegation fight. However, a surprise 4-1 win over Real Madrid has turned their season on its head.
A hattrick of penalties from Carlos Soler was the difference after Karim Benzema scored the opener for Los Blancos. Each time Soler struck, Thibaut Courtois went the right way but could do nothing to prevent the Spaniard converting. Raphael Varane added a bizarre own goal to add further woe to a poor season for the Frenchman.
Valencia rise to 9th, joint with Barcelona on eleven points. However, Real Madrid now sit fourth. Importantly, Atletico Madrid sit 3rd, one point above Los Blancos but with a game in hand and having played two less than first place Real Sociedad.
After the game, Real coach Zinedine Zidane said there was ‘no excuses’ for the defending shown by his players.
‘We started the first half-hour well,” said Real coach Zinedine Zidane.
“After the goal we fell apart and changed the dynamics. Everything happened to us; three penalties, an own goal. It is difficult to understand,” said the Frenchman.
“After their first goal we dropped our level a bit and stopped doing everything we had been doing well. We did everything wrong, it’s difficult to try and understand our performance.”
“There’s no excuse for how we defended today. After the first goal our heads dropped and our problems kept building. Right now we are not defending as well as we used to.”
The La Liga title race looks set to be as unpredictable and as competitive as the Premier League. Real Madrid are facing their own internal issues on and off the pitch after Benzema and Vinicius Junior’s controversy.
Football Live streaming: Featured matches on November 9, 2020