Real Madrid went into the match without Eden Hazard and Casemiro who were confirmed to be carriers of the dreaded coronavirus a few days before the match. But the absence of the duo was not expected to affect Real Madrid to the extent of losing 4-1 to Valencia.
Unfortunately for the manager of the Spanish giants, Zinedine Zidane had to watch helplessly as errors in his team’s box-eighteen take Madrid 4 points away from the top of the table.
Madrid started on a good note when the club’s talisman, Karim Benzema scored the first goal of the match in the 23rd minute to give the visitors an early lead. From that point, it was looking like it was going to be an easy ride for Madrid.
Unfortunately for Zidane, Valencia was awarded a spot-kick a few minutes after Madrid’s first goal. Valencia’s Carlos Soler stepped up to take the spot-kick but Madrid’s keeper Thibaut Courtois saved the kick and Soler tried to score the rebound but went straight to the sidebar. Valencia’s Yunus Musah eventually scored the goal after the ball bounced off the sidebar to his waiting legs.
The Video Assistant Referee disallowed the goal because Musah encroached into the box-eighteen when the kick was about to be taken. The referee ordered that the spot-kick should be retaken and this time around, Soler made no mistake.
In the 43rd minute of the dramatic match, Madrid’s Raphael Varane scored an own goal to double the lead of the host. In the 54th minute of the game, Soler was called upon again to take a spot-kick after Madrid’s Marcelo fouled on Maxi Gomez in the visitors box-eighteen.
A few minutes later, the captain of Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos committed a handball offense in his box-eighteen which forced the center-referee to make the third penalty call of the match. Soler stepped up again to score it for the third time in the match.
At the end of the match, Valencia ran away with a 4-1 victory which took them to the 9th spot on the La Liga table with 11 points in 9 games. While the defeat sunk Real Madrid to the 4th spot on the league table with 16 points in 8 league games.
“It’s hard to understand what happened in this match,” Zinedine Zidane said. “Everything happened, with three penalties and an own goal. After our goal, the dynamic changed and we changed what we were doing. Everything came together today.
“After the goal, we slipped a little and changed the dynamics of what we were doing. There are no excuses for me. After the first goal, we simply fell apart.
“I don’t think Valencia have been better tactically. But the culprit is me because I have to find solutions.”
Zinedine Zidane will continue to search for solutions for Real Madrid inconsistency this season when the team face the second-placed Villarreal on November 21. A win in the game has the potential to take the reigning La Liga champions to the second spot on the league table.