Hot on the heels of current La Liga leaders FC Barcelona, Real Madrid kept pace with their eternal rivals after a relatively comfortable 3-0 win over Valencia on Thursday night.
Madrid’s win, which comes against a team that is battling for European positions next season, is a big step towards putting pressure on Barcelona in the chase for the title.
The first half of the match, which was played at Madrid’s Alfredo di Stefano Stadium behind closed doors the Bernabeu Stadium continues renovation work, did not see any goals as Madrid and Valencia traded attacking chances to no avail.
However, in the second half, Valencia’s defense and keeper Jasper Cillessen finally could do no more to stop Los Blancos’ attack.
Striker Karim Benzema broke the scoreless deadlock with a strike in the 61st minute to give his team a 1-0 lead.
Only thirteen minutes later, attacker Marco Asensio saw his first action on the pitch since a preseason ACL tear, nearly 10 months ago. In fewer than 30 seconds, he found the net to double Madrid’s lead in a triumphant manner.
Benzema wrapped up the game just before the final whistle blew, driving a a spectacular right-footed strike into the net to give the scoreboard its 3-0 final tally.
Real Madrid will look to keep pace as it travels to play Real Sociedad on Sunday, while the leaders face a tough game of their own at Sevilla.