Real Valladolid 0-1 Real Madrid: Casemiro header sees Los Blancos squeeze past strugglers… closing gap on leaders Atletico to three points
- Real Madrid travelled to Real Vallodolid in LaLiga clash on Saturday evening
- Casemiro finally opened the scoring after 65 minutes, heading into the net
- The visitors now have four-straight victories with three clean-sheets in a row
Real Madrid moved to within three points of La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid with a routine 1-0 win over Valladolid.
Zinedine Zidane’s side were down to their Galatico bare bones with Isco the only senior player on a bench full of youth teamers. The first XI was also missing Karim Benzema, another in the club’s ever-lengthening injury list that already includes Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Fede Valverde, Eden Hazard and Rodrygo.
With Martin Odegaard and Luca Jovic out on loan to take pressure off the wage bill Zidane was reduced to relying on the same old faces, and the same old faces did not let him down – the never do.
Casemiro headed the winner as second-placed Real Madrid edged Real Valladolid in LaLiga
The midfielder rose at the back post to head in after 65 minutes, grabbing a big three points
Zinedine Zidane had a much reduced pool of options but Madrid were able to scrape through
Toni Kroos now has six assists this season. He set-up Casemiro who scored his fifth goal of the campaign. And that was enough.
The game started with three saves in three minutes from Thibaut Courtois.
First he kept out Fabio Orellano then he saved from Saidy Janko. From the resulting corner he saved a shot from Ruben Alcaraz.
Mariano thought he’d scored on 22 minutes but he was clearly offside running on to Lucas Vazquez’ pass before slotting the ball past Jordi Masip.
Luka Modric slipped him through and he scored again. This time the offside call was closer but once again the flag was correctly raised.
Thibaut Courtois had to be on his game to make some crucial saves early in the LaLiga clash
Kroos then put the ball on Casemiro’s head from a free-kick on the byline. The Brazilian usually so effective heading in corners sent his effort wide.
Courtois saved brilliantly from Orellana ten minutes into the second half as Valladolid pressed. Ferland Mendy’s strange attempted clearance had set-up the Chilean whose volley looked goal bound until Courtois responded.
Having done his job at one end he watched as Madrid took the lead at the other end.
On 65 minutes Kroos crossed with another pinpoint free-kick and this time Casemiro took the chance heading down and past Masip.
Madrid took time to breakthrough but the bare bones squad packed with youngsters edged it
Zidane brought on 21-year-old B-team striker Hugo Duro and 19-year-old midfielder Sergio Arribas. Isco joined the fray too.
Shon Weismann came on for Valladolid and went down in the area under a challenge from Nacho. Replays showed he had not been touched. It was desperate from Ronaldo’s Valladolid who are a point and a place off the bottom three. They are the antithesis of their owner – diligent but dull.
Madrid were fairly dull on the night too. Zidane will not care about that. His title charge was on the canvass not so long ago but they are back on their feet now and with so many players still to come back and add their weight to the challenge.
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