Hello all, and welcome to our second La Liga game of this evening. Up now: Valencia
vs. Real Madrid
Not much time before kickoff, but team news just coming up.
VALENCIA XI: Alves, R. Costa, Rami, Ruiz, Guardado, Gago, Costa, Piatti, Banega, Jonas, Soldado
REAL XI: Casillas, Varane, Coentrao, Khedira, Ronaldo, Ozil, Alonso, Arbeloa, Albiol, Higuain, Di Maria
Remember, these sides met in midweek in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-final. Real won 2-0
After Atletico Madrid's win earlier tonight, Real will want to restore the seven-point deficit.
The teams are almost ready, time for a prediction. I'm going 1-1 today.
Valencia get us underway, here we go then!
Valencia on the attack straight away, but Real survive and Di Maria wins a free-kick after hurling himself to the ground.
Ronaldo on the ball early on but Valencia converge on him. Naturally, they'll need to keep him quiet.
Valencia have set themselves out to get in the face of Real. They're pressuring Jose Mourinho
's side early on and are getting some early success - they're on top currently.
Ronldo gets some space for the first time but his cross is poor and Valencia come away with the ball.
At the other end Jonas wins a Valencia corner.
CHANCE! Piatti gets the first effort on goal of the day, but Casillas is down well to save. It was comfortable really.
Ronaldo goes down in the box after a shoulder charge from Rami. Nothing given after the Portuguese went down a little easily.
CHANCE! Golden chance for Higuain! Arbeloa crosses the the open Argentine from about eight yards out but he rolls it wide! Incredible miss.
GOAL! Valencia 0-1 Real Madrid (Higuain)
He doesn't have to wait long for his goal. Di Maria is played through by Ronaldo, who cuts back to Higuain and he does not miss this time from the penalty spot. Fantastic counter from Real.
We've seen some direct football from both sides at the start of this one. There's not a great deal of slow, patient build-up and it's got an end-to-end feel about it at the moment. There could be goals in this.
CHANCE! Di Maria fizzes in a delightful ball from the left. Higuain is closest to it but he cannot quite get a touch on it and Alves gathers.
Free-kick in a dangerous spot here for Valencia as Jonas is brought down about 35 yards from goal.
Costa hits it straight into the wall, but Ever Banega wins a corner after collecting the rebound.
Higuain almost finds Ronaldo with a through ball, but it's just cut out. Then, from Khedira's pass Ronaldo is given offside.
After Valencia's strong start they've struggled to get back into this one since the goal. It's a solid set up from Real, who are continuing to break well.
YELLOW CARD: Arbeloa becomes the first man into the book after a late lunge on Jonas. Fair, I'd say. Perhaps he could have been let off but that's not likely in Spain.
Arbeloa this time wins a free-kick in another nothing tackle. Both sides are playing up to the strictness of the referee and it's stopping the flow somewhat.
Real win a corner from a Di Maria cross, from which Rami does well to head behind.
YELLOW CARD! Jonas is booked for diving. He's gone down several times so far and this time there was no contact. He flew to the ground, anticipating contact, but there was none. Correct call.
Another minute, another free-kick. After the open start to this one it's now scrappy, with players going down left, right and centre. I'd like to see them try to stay up at least or we'll end with more free-kicks than minutes on the clock.
Ozil, who has been quiet, has the ball stolen from him. Guardado finds Banega, but Xabi Alonso is in well to tackle. The ball comes back in to Costa but it's a tight angle and he skies it. Soldado was just waiting for the cutback there.
CHANCE! Higuain robs Rami and the ball is played into Sami Khedira one-on-one. Alves somehow keeps it out and the ball goes for a corner. Huge chance and he probably should have scored. In the end it's a good save.
YELLOW CARD! Fabio Coentrao is the next to go into the book. It's for handball but it was harsh as the ball hit his arm as he slid in for a tackle. You just can't give that.
No-one wants to keep the ball here as Ronaldo and Costa get the ball nicked from them in close succession.
CHANCE! Khedira latches on to a lose ball, gets it wide to Di Maria who then looks for the German in the middle. He makes contact and it's a fine save from Alves, but he was stretching which made it a difficult chance.
GOAL! Valencia 0-2 Real Madrid (Di Maria)
Wonderful, wonderful goal. Ronaldo plays to Ozil, who threads it through the eye of a needle for Ronaldo. He cuts back in the box, but goes the other way and cuts across to the unmarked Di Maria to tap in. A brilliant goal.
GOAL! Valencia 0-3 Real Madrid (Ronaldo)
Well I never. Alonso finds Ronaldo, who runs at the defence, jinks on to his left with a stepover and fires into the bottom corner at the near post. One minute 23 seconds between the goals! I think this one's over.
The game plan has worked perfectly so far for Real. They've just struck twice on the counter after the early goal and this can now be played how they want. It's a very long way back for the hosts.
It's harsh on Alves in the Valencia goal. He's been excellent and has already made a number of saves.
YELLOW CARD: Gago goes into the book for a late tackle on Alonso, the man who replaced him at Real.
GOAL! Valencia 0-4 Real Madrid (Ronaldo)
Well, well, well. Di Maria hooks across a marvellous cross on the volley, which Ozil flicks into the path of Ronaldo, who sweeps it home! Unbelievable stuff and some Valencia fans are already leaving.
CLOSE! Guardado sends a fizzing left-footed drive from the corner of the box just past the top corner. Fine effort.
Believe it or not Valencia have had 54% of the possession today. It's Real, however, who have been as clinical as I've ever seen on the break. Piatti goes for goal from more than 35 yards, but it's straight to Casillas along the ground.
GOAL! Valencia 0-5 Real Madrid (Di Maria)
Ozil again sets this up. He dinks through to Di Maria, who maintains his composure to slot past Alves. Incredible stuff.
HALF-TIME: Valencia 0-5 Real Madrid
My laptop is on fire! What a sensational half of football from Real Madrid. Everything they created went in and it's been a display of counter-attacking football that deserves a place in a museum. Wow.
I don't know what more can be said that this one is long over. At 3-0 you feared it might be over as a contest, but Real have hit two more since then. Ronaldo, Ozil and Di Maria have been absolutely sensational and Valencia have had no answer.
The second goal went in in the 34th minute. Ten minutes after that it was 5-0. It's been a perfect display of an away performance from Mourinho's side, I can't give high enough praise.
How many more are going to go in? The half-time whistle came just as it was about to turn into a cricket score, I expect Valencia to tighten up at the back now. They can't get worse at the back, surely?
The teams are back out, and Real are about to kick off for the second half.
Here we go. How many more goals are in this?
You think they're about to score every time they attack. They break forward quickly and Di Maria is almost in, but eventually have to go back to the defence. Good retention of possession.
There was a change for Valencia. Barregan has come on for Gago.
Valencia are playing a bit better now at the start of this half. They are keeping the ball and keeping it tight. It's really damage limitation now but they'll want to win the second half for pride.
OFF THE BAR! Valencia almost get one back. Piatti cuts onto his left foot and bends one towards the top corner from just outside the box. Casillas is beaten but the ball hits the top of the bar. Unlucky.
For the first time in the half, Real look for a quick break. It is Higuain, however, and not Ronaldo or Di Maria and he cannot beat his man.
OFF THE LINE! Even closer for Valencia now. Rami rose from a corner to head towards goal, but Coentrao gets it away off his thigh. Di Maria is then booked for a very harsh handball.
Superb catch on the volley from Costa with his left peg. It has the power but goes wide of the target. Chances continue to fall for the hosts.
Still Valencia are the better team, as Alonso comes off for Michael Essien for the visitors. The hosts, however, cannot find a way through. Costa strikes again towards the bottom corner but Casillas makes a good save low down and holds.
There's not a great deal of urgency for Real to add a sixth. That's understandable really, there's little point them expending more energy on a game that's already been won.
The urgency has now also gone from Valencia's play. Again, understandable. From their points of view five goals are needed in less than half an hour against Real Madrid. Banega goes into the book for a lunge on Ronaldo.
CHANCE! Another chance falls to the home team and against they don't hit the target. Jonas is played in at a tight angle, but he blazes it over.
SUBSTITUTION: Soldado makes way for the hosts and in his place comes Nelson Valdez.
Di Maria sets up Higuain with a silky bit of skill and a pass with the outside of his boot. Valencia eventually clear for a throw. He's been magnificent the Argentine.
SUBSTITUTION: More talent coming off the Real bench. This time it's Modric, and he'll replace Ozil.
Still Valencia prod and probe. Credit to them, but there's a real lack of penetration when they get in and around the penalty box.
CHANCE! Valdez is found with a low, near-post cross. He makes contact but cannot convert it on target and it goes wide.
Di Maria almost finds Ronaldo in the box after being played in by Essien. He just overhit the pass but it was a lovely move and Di Maria was at the hub of it again.
Less than 20 minutes in this and, as suspected, there have been no further goals. Di Maria is fouled near his own box - he's all over that right hand side in defence and attack.
SUBSTITUTION: Jose Maria Callejon comes on for Khedira for Real.
It's fizzling out now after that fantastic first half. Neither side are creating much in the way of attacks. It's like a game on Monopoly this - you know who's going to win before half way, but you have to see it out anyway.
A few crosses are coming in for the hosts but they either fail to beat the first man or find a Real head in the box.
YELLOW CARD: Essien holds off Ramis and the giant centre-back goes down like his legs had disappeared. Bit of a harsh one that.
Real are just passing the ball between defence and midfield now to see out the rest of this game. There's under 10 minutes left. Perhaps time for Di Maria or Ronaldo to complete their hat-trick, though.
The Valencia fans - aside from the few who left after 40 minutes - are in fantastic voice still. Full credit to them for that.
CHANCE! Oh dear Ronaldo. That was his chance for his fourth hat-trick of the season, but he met a near-post cross and put his effort wide. Terrible finishing, but it hardly matters.
Casillas wants a clean sheet, as does the entire defence. The goalkeeper's handling has been excellent tonight, as if his gloves have been dipped in glue.
Just a minute to be added on.
FULL-TIME: Valencia 0-5 Real Madrid
Well, the first half did the job and the second was something of a procession. In truth Valencia weren't that bad, but Real were dominant at the end of the first half and take an emphatic three points.
That's all from me. Thanks for joining me tonight for the La Liga action. Until next time!