Well the first match out of a series of 3 has ended, but two more matches remain, one in the Spanish league and then the second leg of this fixture in the Copa Del Rey.
The first half started with both sides battling for midfield control for the first five minutes with neither side able to exert much influence, though as time passed Valencia CF started controlling more and more of the possession Real Madrid would have the first chance though after a quick steal in the mid enable Real Madrid to mount a counter attack, but Benzema would shoot wide.
For all of Valencia CF domination in midfield by the 20th minute, it was Real Madrid though who had the more chances with Benzema, Ozil and even Essien coming close. Valencia CF has its own opportunities though and for example Soldado was ruled offside in the 21st minute for a perfectly timed run, then in the 35th minute Casillas saves a shot by Jonas or should I say Jonas shot at the keeper. Jonas had one chance earlier where he shot from distance and barely missed the goal.
Well just after that poor shot right at Casillas, Real Madrid would punish Valencia CF and score a goal. The situation started when Tino Costa found himself too forward and misplaced a pass, basically giving the ball to Real Madrid, from there Essien got the ball, started a counter attack and Real Madrid had more people in attack, so Essien passed to the free Khedira who passed instantly to Benzema and this one converted the chance into a goal.
Valencia CF would try to mount a comeback, but usually the attacks would be stopped by the final third. Problem for Valencia CF was that the players were too wasteful with the chances and were making some poor passes in the final third, instead of playing more intelligently and circling the ball around.
The second half would become more open and dangerous, with a lot more chances on both sides. Valencia CF were ruled 3 offside's this game where it wasn't even close to being offside 3 times. All three times Soldado was in a scoring opportunity, in one even hitting the post.
Jonas would miss a sitter in the 66th minute, in what should have been one of the easiest goals of his career. Ever Banega would start the chance by getting away from his marker and passing the ball to Piatti who run a bit with the ball and released Soldado alone on goal, but Soldado only managed to hit the bar, with the ball falling on Jonas feet basically with the whole goal empty and he completely missed the goal.
Of course few imaginary offside's, few wasted chances and the retaliation would come from Real Madrid in the 73rd minute after a counter attack on the right hand side with Di Maria releasing Coentrao who easily went past Adil Rami and passed the ball forward, only for Guaita to completely miss the ball and Guardado to score his own goal with his hand no less.
Real Madrid would go on to have several more chances after that in what we be amazing misses by Ronaldo as well, who was released on goal alone, but Guaita saved and then just few minutes later Adil Rami would decide to dribble literally just in front of goal and loose the ball to Ronaldo, who like Jonas went on to miss the whole goal alone in front of Guaita.
Ultimatelly the game ended in a 2-0 victory for Real Madrid, albeit I'd say an undeserved one as they were second best team all match long. What saved them was stupid, I'd even say moronic individual mistakes by the Valencia CF players that shouldn't have happened. Also Jonas had a field day of misses, with Soldado as well missing and hitting the bar, instead of burring the chance himself.
R. Madrid (2): Casillas, Khedira, Ronaldo, Benzema (Higuaín, min. 68), Ozil, Carvalho, Marcelo (Coentrao, min. 46), Alonso, Essien, Albiol and Modric (Di Maria, min. 61).
Valencia CF (0): Guaita, Rami, Jonas, Soldado, Piatti, Joao, Guardado, Victor Ruiz (Ricardo Costa, min. 73), Dani Parejo, Ever (Valdez, min. 84) and Tino Costa (Gago, min. 77) .
Goals: 1-0 Min.37 Benzema; 2-0 Min.73 Guardado (o.g.).
Guaita 5.5 - Had few stretches in the first half, though nothing direct, but failed miserably for the second goal as he missed the ball completely. Made amends just few moments later when he made a terrific save from Ronaldo.
Pereira 5.5 - Was not tested much in the first half, but once Di Maria entered the fray he was left hanging few times and couldn't deal efficiently with him.
Rami 4 - Slow as a turtle and Coentrao just flew past him to provide the pass that would lead to the second goal. Made a terrible error in judgement when he decided to dribble in front of goal and lost the ball. Lucky that Ronaldo didn't score.
Ruiz 5 - Lacking any understanding with Rami, while he did made few blocks here and there, there was a lack of cohesion in the defense.
Guardado 5 - Completely overrun in the second half and lost Ozil and Essien several times, while bringing little offensively.
Tino Costa 4.5 - Completely failed as a defensive midfielder by finding himself too far forward and making the inaccurate pass that lead to the Real Madrid goal. Wasn't very effective in spreading the ball either.
Parejo 6.5 - One of the few bright spots in this match as he took it upon himself to come deep and spread the ball and organize the attack. Did very well with accurate passes and controlling possession for Valencia CF.
Piatti 6 - Was very active on the right side, making many runs and winning ground for Valencia as he was getting fouled in dangerous positions.
Banega 6 - I have no clue why he plays as an attacking midfielder and so forward, he rarely got back to claim and spread the ball and wasn't too effective in the final third either. Did have some important passes though and set up Soldado's chance when he hit the bar and Jonas missed the rebound.
Jonas 5 - Very active and involved in pretty much every action that took place, having few shots at goal, but had a terrible miss in the 66th minute when he missed a clear goal.
Soldado 5 - Ran a lot and found himself 4 times in a position to score, 3 were rulled offside even though none of it was and the 4th time he hit the bar.
R. Costa N/A - Not enough time
Gago N/A - Not enough time
Valdez N/A - Not enough time