Mestalla

Next Game

Valencia v R Madrid

Sunday, 04 January 2015, 16:00

Spanish Primera BBVA

Last Game

R Madrid 2 - 0 S Lorenzo

Saturday, 20 December 2014, 19:30

FIFA Club World Cup Final

Real top as Atletico slip up

Real Madrid beat Villarreal 4-2 to go top of La Liga on goal difference from Atletico Madrid, who lost 2-0 at Almeria.

Last Updated: 08/02/14 at 23:17 Post Comment

Benzema: Celebrates his first goal against Villarreal

Benzema: Celebrates his first goal against Villarreal

The capital clubs have a three-point lead over Barcelona, who play their game on hand at Sevilla on Sunday night and could yet end the weekend back at the summit.

At the Bernabeu, Karim Benzema scored twice and Gareth Bale marked his return from injury with a goal and an assist in Real's impressive victory.

In the end, Cristiano Ronaldo's absence hardly mattered. Having spent considerable energy on attempting to repeal the three-match ban handed to the FIFA Ballon d'Or winner, Madrid were turned down and had to field a side to face Villarreal without their talisman.

Not to worry, they had Benzema, and Bale, and Jese. Bale opened the scoring on seven minutes, as defender Chechu Dorado dawdled on the ball on the left side of the pitch and the Welshman stole in to take it off his toes, run in on Sergio Asenjo and skilfully lift the ball over the goalkeeper.

Bale crossed for Benzema to double Real's lead on 25 minutes and although the visitors pulled a goal back late in the first half through right-back Mario, starlet Jese restored Real's two-goal advantage after a slick move.

A superb free-kick from Giovani dos Santos gave Villarreal hope once more on 69 minutes, but Benzema wrapped up the win in style from Jese's pass seven minutes later.

Atletico surprisingly went down 2-0 at Almeria. After Aleix Vidal had hit the woodwork for the hosts, midfielder Verza opened the scoring on 80 minutes as his cross from the left flew in past Dani Aranzubia.

Worse was to follow for the Atletico keeper when he was sent off six minutes later for bringing down Sundy Zongo, with midfielder Gabi going in goal. His first task was to pick Verza's penalty out of the net as Almeria picked up a vital win in their fight against the drop.

Paco Alcacer scored twice as Valencia followed up their Nou Camp heroics by thrashing lowly Real Betis 5-0 at the Mestalla.

Having beaten Barcelona in their last outing, Valencia began positively and took the lead after 41 minutes through a header by Jeremy Mathieu.

Alcacer doubled Valencia's advantage on the stroke of half-time, and added his second in the 67th minute, soon after Sofiane Feghouli had made it 3-0.

Eduardo Vargas marked his full debut for Valencia by scoring the fifth goal with 11 minutes remaining.

Rayo Vallecano breathed life into their hopes of avoiding relegation with a resounding and morale-boosting 4-1 win over Malaga, who had to play the entire second half with 10 men.

Tottenham loanee Iago Falque broke the deadlock midway through the first half with a fine individual goal and a deflected effort by Anaitz Arbilla just a minute later doubled the hosts' advantage.

Joaquin Larrivey slotted in a penalty on 45 minutes and Sergio Sanchez was given a second yellow card for conceding the spot-kick.

Rayo then coasted to victory, Falque scoring another impressive goal but Ukrainian forward Oleksandr Iakovenko got a late consolation for Bernd Schuster's side.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

really enjoyed this. Thanks F365 for another year of work avoidance - happy Christmas.

megabrow (cufc)
Our Person Of The Year: Alan Pardew

I

m no Sam Fan and this article sums him up beautifully. I always like to imagine that when he watches anything on TV and hears clapping, he stands up and aknowledges the applause, thinking its for him!

cozens
Football Managers On TV: Sam Allardyce

N

ah, Fergie is just having another pop at Rooney. He just wants to put him down whenever he gets a chance. Rooney is by far the best English player. Carrick is not far behind, mind. However, by elevating Carrick like that, Sir is having a dig at Wayne. Fergie is well-known for mind games like that. Good to see he's still feisty.

timbo
Van Gaal will thrive - Ferguson

Footer 365

Premier League: QPR look for result against Arsenal, Rio Ferdinand in selection contention

QPR boss Harry Redknapp says Rio Ferdinand could be back in the team as the squad is rotated through the festive period.

Premier League: Nemanja Matic says Chelsea can win quadruple

Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic insists the Blues can win the quadruple this season.

Premier League: Ronald Koeman facing selection crisis ahead of Southampton's match against Everton

Harrison Reed's impressive display against Everton has given Ronald Koeman a selection dilemma.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property