Brazilian duo Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo both scored braces as Real Madrid thumped Valencia 5-1 in La Liga on Saturday night.
Real took the lead after three minutes when Toni Kroos’ 50-yard diagonal ball found Dani Carvajal, who turned inside his man and slammed a half-volley home from outside the area.
Vinicius added a second three minutes before the break when he met Rodrygo’s awkwardly bouncing low cross with his chest to divert home.
The Real winger got a fabulous third just after half-time, cutting in before curling a low effort inside the near post.
A minute later, Che goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvii gave the ball straight to Rodrygo who gleefully shot home.
Rodrygo netted his second, turning a defender inside and out before hitting home with his left, and Real’s fifth on 84 minutes, before Valencia’s Hugo Duro scored an 88th-minute consolation.
The win brings Real within two points of La Liga leaders Girona. Valencia drop to ninth spot.
Talking point – Bellingham absence gives others chance to shine
Jude Bellingham’s star has shone so brightly this season that it has been difficult for any other Real Madrid to get any attention. As on Wednesday, Brahim Diaz showed he is a very capable deputy in the attacking midfield position, Toni Kroos showed he has more than a little life left in his glittering career, while Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr put on a show giving the home fans much more than their money’s worth.
It is easy to think Real’s season depends upon what we hope is not a troublesome shoulder injury and they will certainly need England’s best player in the big matches in Europe, but this generation of Los Blancos are far more than Bellingham sidemen and can handle the majority of La Liga sides fine without him.
Player of the match – Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid)
He really is a remarkable player. His second goal we have seen from him before, which didn’t make it any less spectacular, but the first goal with a diving chest said a lot about the genius he possesses.
At 23 he has achieved so much and on the back of two 20-goal seasons he could be about to take his game to a higher plane.
Real Madrid: Lunin 7; Carvajal 8, Nacho 6, Alaba 6, Mendy 7; Camavinga 6, Valverde 7, Kroos 8, Brahim Diaz 7, Rodrygo 9, Vinicius Junior 10*. Subs: Modric 7, Garcia 6, Vazquez 6, Joselu 6, Paz Martinez 6.
Valencia: Mamardashvili 4; Correia 6, Mosquera 5, Gabriel 5, Jose Gaya 6; Pepelu 6, Javi Guerra 5; Fran Perez 5, Sergi Canos 6, Diego Lopez 6; Hugo Duro 6. Subs: Gasiorowski 6, Foulquier 5, Guillamon 6, Gonzalez 7, Yaremchuk 6.
3′ – Goal! Real Madrid 1-0 Valencia (Carvajal): Carvajal with a cracker inside three minutes. Kroos played a 50-yard cross-field ball which Carvajal took inside of the Real full-back and then smashed home from 20 yards on the half-volley.
8′ Off the bar! A marvellous effort from Kroos, curling a shot over the wall but it clips the bar and goes over.
42′ – Goal! Real Madrid 2-0 Valencia (Vinicius Jr): Vinicius Jr scores with his chest. Rodrygo puts in a low cross which bounces awkwardly but the left winger stoops and diverts home with his upper torso.
49′ – Goal! Real Madrid 3-0 Valencia (Vinicius Jr): And a fabulous one from Vinicius Jr. He received the ball 35 yards from goal on the left wing then raced towards goal turning inside two defenders before curling an unstoppable low shot inside the near post.
50′ – Goal! Real Madrid 4-0 Valencia (Rodrygo): This is getting silly. Almost from the restart, the ball is played back to Mamardashvili who played it straight to Rodrygo 20 yards from goal and he slotted the ball home.
84′ – Goal! Real Madrid 5-0 Valencia (Rodrygo): Rodrygo scores another fine goal. He turns outside Mosquera and then drives the ball low inside the far post.
88′ – Goal! Real Madrid 5-1 Valencia (Duro): Duro finally gets on the scoresheet. Gonzalez crossed low from the right wing and Duro gets in front of his man and shoots home.
- 8 – This is Real Madrid’s eighth straight home victory in la Liga over Valencia.
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