Match Analysis: Real Madrid 2-0 Valencia

Karim Benzema celebrates scoring for Real Madrid in their Copa del Rey clash with Valencia on January 15, 2013
© AP Photos
Sports Mole dissects the action as Real Madrid beat Valencia 2-0 in the first leg of their quarter-final clash in the Copa del Rey.

Real Madrid scored once in either half to secure a first-leg lead over Valencia in their Copa del Rey quarter-final clash in the Spanish capital.

Valencia twice came close to opening their tally in the first period, but Karim Benzema scored the only goal of the half to leave Madrid ahead at the interval.

The away side remained the better side for large periods of the second half, but they were made to pay late on when Andres Guardado could only turn into his own net, leaving Madrid with a 2-0 lead ahead of the second leg.

Here, Sports Mole dissects the 90 minutes of action between the two Spanish rivals.

Was the result fair?

In truth, this match could have ended with any score this evening. Valencia perhaps should have been 2-0 ahead before Madrid opened the scoring, while the away side also had a host of chances in the second period. That said, Cristiano Ronaldo had two glorious opportunities to score late on and all but put the tie beyond Valencia. On the balance of play, a score draw would have been just about correct.

Real Madrid's performance

6/10. Granted Madrid will take a comfortable 2-0 lead into the second leg. However, it could have been ever so different had Valencia taken their chances throughout the match. They scored at an important time in each half and will now feel confident of making the semi-final stage. Away goals count in the Copa del Rey and therefore a Madrid goal in the Mestalla would mean that Valencia would need to score four without reply.

Valencia's performance

7/10. It is difficult to criticise Valencia this evening for their performance throughout the 90 minutes. They were the better side for large periods of the match, but poor finishing cost them the chance to take the lead and indeed claw their way back into the second period. They would have wanted to take an away goal into the second leg, but they are still within a chance of making the next round of the competition.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Vicente Guaita: The Valencia goalkeeper may have conceded twice this evening, but the two saves he made in the latter stages were about as good as you will ever see. Ronaldo twice thought he had scored in the final 10 minutes, but the Spanish stopper denied the Portuguese with incredible effect.

Biggest gaffe

Jonas could have sent Valencia into the lead five minutes before the interval, but he struck his effort straight at Iker Casillas from close range and moments later Madrid were ahead. It was good positioning from the Spanish stopper, but Jonas simply had to score from close range.

Referee performance

Cesar Munez had a fairly straightforward 90 minutes of action this evening. However, the Spaniard was not prepared to let the play flow and was too picky with some decisions. Meanwhile, Valencia could have been awarded two penalties.

What next?

Real Madrid: Jose Mourinho's side travel to Valencia in the league on Sunday before revisiting the Mestalla for the second leg next week.

Valencia: As mentioned, Valencia host Real Madrid in the league this weekend before welcoming Mourinho's side once more next Tuesday.

Karim Benzema celebrates scoring for Real Madrid in their Copa del Rey clash with Valencia on January 15, 2013
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