Real Madrid were under a lot of pressure to pick up a result against Valencia at the Mestalla, and the players and staff all delivered in what could be the turning point of the season. Real ended up taking the victory by a comfortable 1-4 margin, which should give the team a lot of confidence going into a crucial couple of months.
The victory saw Real, who still sit in 4th place, close the gap on 3rd placed Valencia to just 2 points, with Los Blancos still having a game in hand. The gap to the league leaders is still 16 points, but this match was a big step in the right direction.
Real Madrid started the game well, and they took just 16 minutes to take the lead. Cristiano Ronaldo has received some criticism in the last few months but he was crucial in this contest. The Portuguese superstar was fouled in the box and unsurprisingly converted the penalty himself to put his side in front.
The game was in the balance until the 38th minute, when Real were given another penalty after a push on Karim Benzema. Ronaldo stepped up yet again to double Los Blancos’ lead in the game. Valencia didn’t give up though, and they pulled a goal back just before the hour mark through Santi Mina.
The hosts then gave it a good go in looking for an equaliser, but Real ended all doubt when Marcelo got forward and added a third goal in the 84th minute. Toni Kroos then put the icing on the cake by scoring a fourth for Real Madrid with an excellent long range strike just a minute before the end of the game.
Real boss Zinedine Zidane stated that the Copa Del Rey defeat to Leganes was his worst moment in football management, but this will have gone a long way in easing the pressure on him.