Real Madrid travel on Wednesday to Mestalla in a game for the 16th week of La Liga, postponed for the FIFA Club World Cup. The match was supposed to be played in December, when Valencia were struggling to stay out of the relegation zone with Cesare Prandelli. Some weeks later, the Italian manager resigned and Voro took over, obtaining good results.
Actually, Valencia were able to beat (2-0) Athletic Club on Sunday and the relegation is now far away. Los Chés are still in a bad position in the table, but they’re still a dangerous team for Real Madrid. Actually, the last two times Los Blancos travelled to Mestalla, they weren’t able to obtain the three points and the games had really bad consequences.
Real Madrid played in Mestalla the opening game of the year in the last two seasons. The 3rd of January of 2015, Los Blancos visit Valencia with Rafa Benítez on the bench. The manager was heavily criticized after the hard defeat (0-4) against Barcelona in El Clásico. The results weren’t better and Benítez had a match-ball against his former team, where he was able to win two La Liga trophies and one UEFA Cup.
Los Blancos couldn’t win the game despite taking the lead twice. Benzema scored the opener and Cristiano Ronaldo also wrote his name in the scoreboard but Dani Parejo and Paco Alcácer drew the game. Los Blancos played with 10 players because Mateo Kovacic was sent off. Florentino Pérez decided that Benítez’s adventure at Real Madrid was over and the manager was sacked after the game.
One year earlier, it was also the start of the end for Carlo Ancelotti. Real Madrid arrived to the game with an incredible run of victories. Los Blancos won the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco and they were playing the best football seen in many years at Bernabéu. Los Blancos took the lead after a penalty scored by Cristiano Ronaldo. However, Valencia came back with the goals of Barragán and Otamendi. Real Madrid lost and they started to lose several games against Atlético de Madrid and they were kicked out of the Copa del Rey by the city rivals. Ancelotti was sacked at the end of the season.
Mestalla is always a tough stadium for the big teams in La Liga. FC Barcelona won at the very last minute in a very controversial stadium and Atlético de Madrid also got the three points (0-2) despite missing two penalties. Last time Real Madrid won at Mestalla was in 2013 (2-3) thanks to a late goal scored by Jesé. In the same year, in 2013 with José Mourinho on the bench, Los Blancos thrashed (0-5) Valencia with a great performance of Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese is used to show off against Valencia.