Real Madrid Beat Valencia To Close Gap To Barcelona

Real Madrid beat 10-man Valencia 2-0 to reduce Barcelona’s lead at the top of La Liga to five points.

Los Blancos took the lead through a stunning left-footed strike from Marco Asensio in the 52nd minute.

Brazilian forward Vinicius Jr celebrated his 200th Real appearance with his side’s second goal two minutes later.

Gabriel Paulista was shown a straight red card for the visitors in the 72nd minute for kicking out at Vinicius.

Antonio Rudiger thought he had opened the scoring for the hosts in first-half stoppage time when he headed home from Luka Modric’s cross.

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However, the goal was ruled out after a video assistant referee intervention for a Karim Benzema foul on Yunus Musah in the box.

France forward Benzema, 35, was substituted on the hour mark and walked off the pitch holding the back of his thigh.

Real travel to Liverpool on 21 February for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, but manager Carlo Ancelotti said Benzema’s injury was “very light”.

Ancelotti told DAZN: “This is what happens when you play every three days and there is no time to recover.”