Cristiano Ronaldo scored two penalties as Real Madrid posted an emphatic 4-1 victory over Valencia and eased the pressure on Zinedine Zidane.
Zidane’s position as coach has come under intense scrutiny, with Real languishing fourth in LaLiga, but his side rose to the occasion at the Mestalla to secure a morale-boosting win.
Ronaldo twice converted from the spot to put the European champions in charge and, while Santi Mina’s second-half header gave Valencia hope, a late double from Marcelo and the excellent Toni Kroos put the result beyond doubt.
Tweet of the match
Star man – Toni Kroos
Ronaldo scored twice but Kroos finally registered the goal his superb performance deserved in the 89th minute. The German ran the midfield throughout.
Ronaldo has now scored at least 20 goals in all competitions in each of his nine seasons at Real Madrid.
Moment of the match
A statement Real win could have been very different had Daniel Parejo converted a golden chance at 2-1 in the second half. Valencia were piling the pressure on their opponents but Keylor Navas made the save and it proved a decisive one.
Valencia: Neto 5 (out of 10), Martin Montoya 3, Ezequiel Garay 4, Francis Coquelin 5, Toni Lato 5, Goncalo Guedes 6, Daniel Parejo 5, Geoffrey Kondogbia 6, Jose Gaya 6, Santi Mina 7, Rodrigo 6. Subs: Carlos Soler (for Guedes, 45 mins) 6, Simone Zaza (for Rodrigo, 75 mins) 5, Hoelgebaum Pereira (for Lato, 77 mins) 5.
Real Madrid: Keylor Navas 8, Daniel Carvajal 7, Raphael Varane 7, Nacho 5, Marcelo 8, Toni Kroos 9, Casemiro 7, Luka Modric 7, Gareth Bale 7, Cristiano Ronaldo 8, Karim Benzema 7. Subs: Marco Asensio (for Benzema, 78 mins) 7, Lucas Vasquez (for Bale, 69 mins) 6, Mateo Kovacic (for Modric, 88 mins) 5.
Who’s up next?
Barcelona v Valencia (LaLiga, February 1)
Levante v Real Madrid (LaLiga, February 3)