Real Madrid, propelled by a resounding 5-1 victory over Valencia on Saturday night, will head into the November international break just one point shy of the La Liga summit.
Despite missing Jude Bellingham due to a shoulder injury, Carlo Ancelotti’s squad showcased a dominating performance at the Santiago Bernabeu, moving within two points of league leaders Girona.
The game’s narrative unfolded early as, with just over two minutes on the clock, Dani Carvajal expertly controlled Toni Kroos’ long switch of play and capitalized on extra time afforded by a slip from Jose Gaya. Carvajal unleashed a half-volley with his weaker left foot at the near post, breaking the deadlock.
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Kroos, aiming to add a goal of his own, saw his free-kick from 20 yards rebound off the crossbar shortly thereafter. While Valencia posed threats in the Real Madrid box, with Hugo Duro testing Andriy Lunin with a low shot, the hosts remained ahead.
Vinicius Junior came close to extending Real Madrid’s lead, navigating the box from the wing, but his shot deflected wide. However, from the ensuing corner, he fired into the side netting.
In the second half, Vinicius secured his brace, taking advantage of a mistake by Gabriel and finding the net with a powerful shot at the near post. A subsequent blunder by Valencia’s goalkeeper, Giorgi Mamardashvili, led to Rodrygo slotting home from point-blank range, securing Real Madrid’s fourth.
Despite Mamardashvili’s denial of Carvajal’s attempt to secure a brace, Real Madrid netted their fifth goal in the late stages. Fran Garcia set up Rodrygo, who maneuvered past Gabriel and fired past Mamardashvili, sealing a comprehensive victory for the hosts.
Valencia grabbed a consolation with minutes remaining as Duro finally got onto the scoresheet, striding beyond Nacho Fernandez to convert Hugo Gonzalez’s cross.