Apr 29, 2017 at 3.15pm UK at ​Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Real Madrid
2-1
Valencia
Ronaldo (27'), Marcelo (86')
Casemiro (52'), Morata (78'), Modric (82')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Parejo (82')
Parejo (21'), Lato (25'), Garay (56'), Mangala (64'), Mina (77')

Live Commentary: Real Madrid 2-1 Valencia - as it happened

Zinedine Zidane appears prior to the game between Real Madrid and Deportivo La Coruna on January 9, 2016
© AFP
Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the La Liga clash between Real Madrid and Valencia from the Bernabeu.

Real Madrid welcomed Valencia to the Bernabeu on Saturday afternoon looking to return to the top of La Liga.

The home side took a 1-0 lead into the interval courtesy of a 27th-minute header from Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo had the chance to double Real Madrid's lead from the penalty spot early in the second period, but the number seven could not find a route past Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves.

Dani Parejo levelled the scores in the 82nd minute with a brilliant free kick, but Marcelo's curling effort four minutes from time secured a vital three points for Real Madrid.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's live minute-by-minute commentary of the action below.


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2.16pmAfternoon all! Sports Mole's live La Liga coverage continues from the Spanish capital as title-chasing Real Madrid welcome Valencia. Victory for the home side would see them move above Barcelona to the summit on the same number of matches, but Valencia have proved a tough nut to crack for Los Blancos in recent seasons. It is a meeting of two of the biggest and best-supported clubs in Spain.

2.19pmValencia recorded a 2-1 victory when the pair met at the Mestalla earlier this season, but Real Madrid did run out 3-2 winners in the corresponding clash at the Bernabeu last term. Valencia have drawn 2-2 on two of their last three visits to this stadium, however, and they have only lost one of their last six La Liga fixtures with Real Madrid. Will that impressive record continue? We shall see!

2.22pmRight, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news from the Bernabeu. Both of these teams were in action on Wednesday night – Real Madrid winning 6-2 at Deportivo La Coruna, and Valencia losing 3-2 at home to Real Sociedad. Any changes? Let's have a look...

Cristiano Ronaldo in action during the La Liga game between Barcelona and Real Madrid on December 3, 2016© SilverHub


2.25pmTEAMS!

REAL: Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Nacho, Marcelo; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; James, Benzema, Ronaldo

VAL: Alves; Montoya, Garay, Mangala, Lato; Parejo, Soler; Munir, Orellana, Nani; Mina


2.28pmReal Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has made eight changes to the team that started against Deportivo last time out, with Nacho, Marcelo and James Rodriguez the only three to keep their spots in the XI. Keylor Navas returns between the sticks in place of Kiko Casilla, while captain Sergio Ramos is back from suspension. Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo return to the front three, but a calf problem keeps Gareth Bale on the sidelines. Raphael Varane, meanwhile, misses out altogether this afternoon.

2.32pmAs for Valencia, Joao Cancelo and Simone Zaza both miss out through suspension, while club captain Enzo Perez is still injured with a muscular problem. There is just a fourth La Liga start of the season for 19-year-old Toni Lato at left-back, while Munir El-Haddadi, Fabian Orellana and Nani will support lone forward Santi Mina in what is an attacking Los Che outfit. Voro fancies it this afternoon!

Valencia's midfielder Dani Parejo celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league football match Valencia CF vs SD Eibar at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia on May 3, 2015© Getty Images


2.35pmSo there we have it. The two teams are in and we are now just about 40 minutes from kickoff on this warm afternoon in the Spanish capital. I shall speak about the away side a little bit later, but let's start with Real Madrid, who bounced back from last weekend's disappointing El Clasico defeat at home to Barcelona with a thumping 6-2 victory away at Deportivo on Wednesday night.

2.38pmZidane took a risk as he made wholesale changes for the clash at the Riazor, but his second-string answered the call once again to ensure that Los Blancos joined Barcelona on 78 points in La Liga. Real Madrid are second to Barceona on the head-to-head record as things stand, although the Madrid giants still have a game in hand approaching the final weeks of the campaign.

2.42pmIndeed, that spare match with Celta Vigo is yet to be rearranged due to Real Madrid's involvement in the Champions League. The European champions will take on Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals of that competition, but it is vital that they do not take their eye off the ball in La Liga. Any slip this afternoon would hand Barcelona the chance to take control of their own destiny this season.

Cristiano Ronaldo finally shows some modesty during the La Liga game between Barcelona and Real Madrid on December 3, 2016© SilverHub


2.45pmIn terms of what is ahead for Real Madrid, they will welcome Atletico for the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Tuesday, before travelling to Granada in the league next weekend. Then comes the second leg of their semi-final with Atletico, before welcoming Sevilla in the league on May 14.

2.48pmReal Madrid's record from 33 La Liga matches this season reads won 24, drawn six and lost three. They have found the back of the net on 90 occasions, and have conceded 38 times. Barcelona have actually scored more goals (101) and conceded fewer (33), but it is Real Madrid in the driving seat.

2.52pmLast weekend's 3-2 defeat against Barcelona was actually Real Madrid's first home league loss of the season, and there is no question that Zidane will be looking for a response from his players this afternoon. Valencia are not exactly enjoying their best season, but as mentioned, Los Che have drawn 2-2 on two of their last three visits to this stadium in the top flight of Spanish football.


2.55pmSpeaking of Valencia, Los Che are currently on their third manager of the season, with Pako Ayestaran and Cesare Prandelli both leaving following issues with the board. Voro, 53, has been handed the reigns until at least the end of the campaign, and while there have been signs of improvement under the former Spain international, it has largely been a season to forget for Los Che.

2.58pmEleven wins, seven draws and 16 defeats have brought Valencia 40 La Liga points at this stage, with that total only good enough for 12th position. After losing 4-2 at Barcelona last month, Valencia won three straight games against Deportivo, Celta Vigo and Granada, but they are without a win in their last three, and will enter this match off the back of a 3-2 home defeat to Real Sociedad.

3.02pm

3.05pmLos Che finished third in three successive La Liga seasons between 2009 and 2012, but they have gradually slipped down the table in recent campaigns. Indeed, they finished down in 12th spot last season, and it does appear that they are heading for a similar position this term, which is simply not good enough for a team that has won the title on two separate occasions since the turn of the century.

3.08pmPREDICTION! I fancy Real Madrid to win this afternoon, but I expect Valencia to cause some problems in the final third of the field. For me, a narrow home victory. I am backing 2-1 Real Madrid.

3.12pmHere we go then - both sets of players have joined us on the pitch for the first period of action. Just a reminder that a point would be enough to see Real Madrid move to the top of La Liga, but they will be looking for all three. Valencia, meanwhile, will stay 12th even if they win in the Spanish capital.

0 minKICKOFF! Real Madrid kick things off in the Spanish capital...

2 min... POST! Wonderful chance for Valencia to make the breakthrough at the Bernabeu as Mina breaks through on goal before bringing a smart save from Navas. The ball drops straight back to Mina, and the striker hits the post! The visitors have come out all guns blazing here.

4 minIt has been some start to this clash at the Bernabeu, with Valencia committing four, five players forward each time that they break forward. Real Madrid are yet to really threaten the visitors here.

6 minPass, pass, pass from Valencia as they continue to move the ball in the final third of the field. Nani breaks down the right before looking to deliver, but Nacho makes an important block. Valencia have nothing to lose this afternoon, and they are playing like a team who have been told to attack.

8 minNot an awful lot for the home supporters to get excited about at the moment, with Valencia very much in control of proceedings at the Bernabeu. We have not seen much from Ronaldo, Benzema and James in the opening eight minutes, although it only takes a second to produce some magic.

10 minFar from a full house inside the Bernabeu this afternoon, but there is a good atmosphere. The match is yet to settle as Valencia continue to commit players forward, while Real Madrid have been unable to get into any sort of rhythm in the opening 10 minutes. The best chance has come for Valencia.

12 minBetter from Real Madrid in the last few minutes as they start to pass and probe in the final third of the field, although Alves has not had to make a save in the opening 12 minutes at the Bernabeu.

13 minHalf-chance for Real Madrid as Benzema meets a cross from Carvajal, but Alves makes the save.

15 minCareful, considered passing from Real Madrid as they work the ball in the final third, but Garay comes across to clear ahead of Benzema, and suddenly Valencia are on the front foot. The final pass from Nani fails to find Mina, however, and Los Blancos clear down the field once again.

18 minHalf-chance for Valencia as Orellana finds some space outside the Real Madrid box before striking towards goal, but his effort moves wide of the far post. Los Che are keeping their width, which is causing the home side problems. Still goalless with 18 minutes on the clock at the Bernabeu.

20 minHalf-chance for Real Madrid this time as Benzema finds space in a dangerous position before striking towards goal, but it is a comfortable save for Alves. Still goalless in the Spanish capital.

21 minBOOKING! Parejo (Valencia) is booked for a late challenge on James.

22 minCLOSE! Ronaldo's 25-yard free kick just misses the crossbar!

24 minAnother half-chance for Valencia as Orellana finds space inside the Real Madrid box, but his effort is blocked by Ramos. Still goalless with 24 minutes on the clock in the Spanish capital this afternoon.

25 minBOOKING! Lato (Valencia) is booked for a foul on Carvajal.

27 minGOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Valencia (Ronaldo)

28 minReal Madrid make the breakthrough in the 27th minute of this football match as Ronaldo heads a brilliant Carvajal cross into the back of the net. The Portuguese rose highest inside the Valencia box, and Alves could not make the save. It is harsh on Valencia, who have been impressive here.

31 minIt has been a decent response from Valencia, but the away side have not managed to test Navas since the early stages, when Mina brought a smart save from the Costa Rican. You just get the feeling that the next goal this afternoon - if there indeed is one - could be absolutely vital here.

33 minJames takes the ball away from Garay and looks to thread a pass into Benzema, but Mangala is on the cover as Valencia survive a dangerous moment. Strong pressure from Real Madrid at the moment.

35 minLittle over 10 minutes of the first period remaining, and Ronaldo's goal is the difference in the Spanish capital. As it stands, Real Madrid are moving three points clear at the top of the table.

38 minHalf-chance for the home side as Casemiro finds space in a dangerous position before looking to release Ronaldo, but for once, the number seven's touch is disappointing, leading to a Valencia free kick. Down the other end, Munir looks to meet a through pass from Parejo, but Navas is out to claim.

40 minJust a reminder that Spanish champions Barcelona travel to Espanyol later tonight, and you can follow live coverage of that one with me from 6.45pm UK time. Back to the Bernabeu - Real Madrid continue to pass and probe, but Valencia are holding strong in the latter stages of the first period.

42 minCasemiro again looks for Ronaldo with a clipped pass, but Mangala is on hand to make the clearance. Marcelo tries from the opposite side moments later, only for Mangala to clear once again. Valencia have actually defended pretty well for long stages of the first period here.

45 minSmart feet from Munir in the final third as the Valencia forward works some space before looking to pick out the far corner, but his effort was always moving wide of Navas's post. Still 1-0 here.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Real Madrid 1-0 Valencia

4.02pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with Real Madrid leading 1-0 at the interval courtesy of a super Ronaldo header in the 27th minute of action. Valencia have had their moments in the final third of the field, but the home side just about deserve their lead here.

4.07pmSTATISTICS! Real Madrid have dominated the possession with 65%, while they hit the target with three of their six attempts in the opening 45 minutes. As for Valencia, Los Che also had six attempts, but tested Navas just once. Two yellows to report - Parejo (21 min) and Lato (25 min).

4.12pmBENCH WATCH! Bakkali, Medran, Rodrigo and Gaya are among those available to Valencia boss Voro this afternoon. Real Madrid, meanwhile, have options in the shape of Isco, Asensio, Lucas Vasquez and Alvaro Morata. To be honest, the talent on the Real Madrid bench is absolutely incredible.

46 minRESTART! Valencia resume the action at the Bernabeu...

47 min... no changes from either side at the break, which is not too much of a surprise. However, I suspect that both managers will have alterations in mind as the second period develops in the capital.

49 minGood pressure from Valencia at the start of the second period as they continue to commit players in the final third of the field, but the final pass has been lacking. Real Madrid are yet to really get going after the interval, with some slopping passing allowing Valencia to grow in confidence.

51 minCarvajal breaks down the right before delivering a low cross towards Ronaldo, but Mangala is on hand to make the clearance. The home side threaten once again when Casemiro looks to thread a pass into James, but the through ball has too much weight, allowing Los Che stopper Alves out to claim.

52 minBOOKING! Casemiro (Real Madrid) is booked for pulling Orellana to the deck.

54 minHalf-chance for the away side as Soler finds some space inside the Real Madrid box, but his hooked effort was always clearing the crossbar. Still 1-0 Real Madrid with 54 minutes on the clock here.

55 minPOST! Benzema shows wonderful feet inside the Valencia box before curling one towards the far corner, but his effort hits the post as Valencia survive a very dangerous moment.

55 minPENALTY REAL MADRID!

55 minReal Madrid have a penalty as Parejo is adjudged to have pulled Modric down inside the box!

56 minBOOKING! Garay (Valencia) is booked for dissent.

57 minSAVE! Alves keeps out Ronaldo's spot kick. Incredible moment!

60 minThere is just something about Diego Alves and penalties. The Valencia goalkeeper has a wonderful record when it comes to saving spot kicks, and he has kept Valencia in this football match following that brilliant save. Indeed, since Ronaldo's effort was saved, it has been all Valencia here.

62 minI would be surprised if we had seen the last of the goals in the Spanish capital, with Valencia still intent on pressing players forward. We are entering the stage of the match where both managers will be considering changes, and both have some excellent attacking players on the bench.

64 minAnother half-chance for Benzema as the Frenchman works some space just outside the Valencia box, but his effort was always high of the crossbar. Morata still looks on from the bench here.

64 minBOOKING! Mangala (Valencia) is booked for bringing Modric to the deck, and Real Madrid have a free kick in a very dangerous position just outside the away side's box here...

65 min... James's free kick is straight into the Valencia wall.

66 minREAL MADRID SUB! Asensio replaces James for the home side.

69 minAsensio drives away from the Valencia midfield before feeding Ronaldo, but the number seven's effort is blocked by Parejo, who immediately releases Munir in a forward position. You just get the feeling that there is something in this game for the visitors, providing that they do not concede a second.

69 minVALENCIA SUB! Rodrigo replaces Nani for the away side.

71 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for the away side to level as Montoya delivers a brilliant cross onto the head of Rodrigo, but his effort misses the post. So close to an equaliser here.

73 minREAL MADRID SUB! Morata replaces Benzema for the home side.

75 minLittle over 15 minutes of football remaining at the Bernabeu, and Real Madrid still lead 1-0 courtesy of Ronaldo's first-half header. Ronaldo had the chance to make it 2-0 from the penalty spot early in the second period, but the attacker had his effort saved by Alves. Valencia are still in the argument.

77 minHalf-chance for the home side to score a second as Morata feeds Ronaldo inside the Valencia box, but Garay is on hand to make an important challenge. Valencia refuse to concede a second.

77 minBOOKING! Mina (Valencia) is booked for a foul on Carvajal.

78 minCHANCE! Incredible chance for Real Madrid to score a second as Ronaldo meets a far-post cross from Asensio, but somehow the Portuguese sends the ball wide of the post. Oh my word!

80 minRonaldo took a bit of time to return to his feet after clashing with the post, but the number seven is fit to continue. Little over 10 minutes of normal time remaining in the Spanish capital here.

82 minBOOKING! Modric (Real Madrid) is booked following a clash with Orellana.

82 minGOAL! Real Madrid 1-1 Valencia (Parejo)

83 minOh my word! Stunning! Valencia level the scores in the 82nd minute of this match as Parejo sends a wonderful free kick into the top corner. It is a special, special strike from the Spaniard!

85 minIt has been one-way traffic since the equaliser, with Real Madrid knowing the importance of all three points. The atmosphere inside the stadium is stunning as the team in white press forward.

86 minVALENCIA SUB! Gaya replaces Lato for the away side.

86 minGOAL! Real Madrid 2-1 Valencia (Marcelo)

87 minOh my word! Just incredible! Real Madrid retake the lead at the Bernabeu as Marcelo drives into the Valencia box before finding the bottom corner with a curling strike. Brilliant from the full-back!

89 minVALENCIA SUB! Bakkali replaces Orellana for the away side.

90 min+1We are into the first of four additional minutes at the Bernabeu.

90 min+2Valencia put the pressure on with a couple of corners in quick succession, but Navas claims the second and the Costa Rican can take his time as the clock ticks on at the Bernabeu.

90 min+3REAL MADRID SUB! Vasquez replaces Modric for Real Madrid.

90 min+4Time is running out for Valencia as Real Madrid win a free kick in the away side's half of the field.

90 min+5FULL-TIME: Real Madrid 2-1 Valencia

5.07pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with Real Madrid recording a 2-1 win over Valencia, which has moved Los Blancos three points clear at the top of La Liga. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for our live coverage once again. Until next time!

Isco in action during the La Liga game between Barcelona and Real Madrid on December 3, 2016
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1AlavesAlaves00000000
2Athletic Bilbao00000000
3Atletico MadridAtletico00000000
4Barcelona00000000
5Celta Vigo00000000
6Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo00000000
7EibarEibar00000000
8Espanyol00000000
9Getafe00000000
10GironaGirona00000000
11Las PalmasLas Palmas00000000
12Leganes00000000
13Levante00000000
14Malaga00000000
15Real Betis00000000
16Real Madrid00000000
17Real Sociedad00000000
18Sevilla00000000
19Valencia00000000
20Villarreal00000000