Real Madrid climbed to the top of the LaLiga table after coming from behind to secure a late 2-1 win over spirited Valencia on Sunday evening.
Result: Valencia 1-2 Real Madrid
Date: 19 September 2021
Los Blancos made only change from their UEFA Champions League win over Inter Milan, as Eden Hazard was recalled and formed a front three with Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior.
Madrid had the first opening in the 11th minute, with Federico Valverde forcing a save out of shot-stopper Giorgi Mamardashvili with a thumping strike inside the box.
The rhythm of the match was badly affected from then on until the half-hour mark, with Los Che having to make two enforced changes due to injuries to Carlos Soler and Thierry Correia, who were replaced by Yunus Musah and Toni Lato while the visitors also had to replace the injured Dani Carvajal with Lucas Vazquez.
However, Valencia settled the quickest after that, as Gabriel Paulista came very close to breaking the deadlock just before the half-time break with a close-range header that was brilliantly parried away by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who ensured the sides went to the half-time interval goalless.
Jose Bordalas' charges were on top of Madrid early in the second stanza and Goncalo Guedes had the best chance six minutes from the half-time after a well played square pass by Musah but he lacked composure inside the box and blazed his shot over the bar.
Hugo Duro eventually broke the deadlock for Los Che in the 66th minute with a clinical finish at the back post after Los Blancos failed to clear their lines from a cross inside the box,
Carlo Ancelotti reacted immediately thereafter with a double attacking change, as Rodygo replaced Luka Modric and Eduardo Camavinga replaced Casemiro.
Rodrygo came close to snatching the equaliser for the visitors in the 73rd minute with a volley from Vazquez's cross that missed the far post just wide of the upright.
However, the visitors were rewarded in the last four minutes after Vinicius Junior's shot took a deflection and wrong-footed Mamardashvili for his fifth goal of the campaign.
Benzema snatched the winner for Ancelotti's men in the last two minutes with a header past Mamardashvili after a sublime cross by Rodrygo as Los Blancos moved two points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid.
Click through the gallery below to see Camavinga's unveiling: