Valencia 2-1 Real Madrid: full time
A win for Valencia after being under very heavy pressure for the last 10 minutes. A good early start enough for the home side as they shock Real Madrid and give Barcelona hope of winning LaLiga.
Zidane spoke after the match and was very much not a happy man. The memers though had a great night, with three big matches and lots of talking points, crafting internet jokes aplenty.
Valencia 2-1 Real Madrid: how it happened
Min 90 + 3 | Solar sticking to Marcelo like white on rice as he won't let him past. He wins a corner. Kroos from the corner wins another corner. Navas is up for the corner! Kitchen sink job here for Real Madrid.
Min 90 + 2 | Ronaldo gets his head to a Marcelo cross but it goes just inches wide! So close to the leveller. Ronaldo knows it too. Valencia fans sense a victory is on the horizon.
Min 90 + 2 | Marcelo has a shot from way too far out. It's never troubling Alves.
Min 90 + 2 | Bale headers the ball down to the ground as he finds himself free from the corner. It hit Perez, as it turns out.
Min 90 + 1 | Carvajal makes a move down the right and wins a corner. Four minutes of added time.
Min 90 | Valencia can only kepe this up so long. Ramos has a shot from outside the box but it goes just wide. They are back in possession from the goal kick.
Min 89 | Marcelo swings one in this time but Valencia clear again.
Min 87 | Carvajal fires a cross in by Mangala clears with a good header. Parejo hits the ground with a cramp but the game goes on. After some ping pong in the box, the referee awards a free to Valencia as Ronaldo impedes Alves.
Min 86 | That's not going to cut it as Vazquez throws a cross into the box but it goes over the bar.
Min 85 | The game is wide open now. Either Real Madrid equalise or Valencia get a third. Could go either way yet.
Min 83 | Absolutely nothing falling Bale's way as he tries to go around Cancelo but the tackle forces the ball to hit off him and out for Valencia throw.
Min 81 | Valencia have the ball in the penalty area but work it all the way back to Alves as they try to kepe possession. A long ball by Alves and Vazquez fouls Parejo in the air. Needless foul and a chance for Valencia to knock some time off the clock.
Min 79 | Ronaldo's free hit the wall before he scoops a cross back towards goal. Ramos tries to get a head to it but he was offside.
Min 78 | Ronaldo pulled down by Mario Suarez in a dangerous position as the ref whips out the disappearing white spray.
Min 77 | Hint of a foul on Kroos by Munir but the ref says no and the ball bounces to Casemiro. With his names in light in his head, the defensive midfielder swings his foot at it. He nearly breaks a light at the top of the stands with the wayward shot.
Real Madrid substitution - Modric is replaced by Lucas Vazquez.
Min 76 | Another Valencia free as Parejo is hauled down by Modric.
Min 74 | Another inswinging cross by Bale as it lands in the arms of Alves.
Valencia substitution - Zaza, who was excellent, is replaced by Mario Suarez. Zidane's move now as Voro shows his cards!
Min 72 | A lightening fast counter and Munir finds himself in space before being surrounded. He turns back and Ramos stands on his foot. Should have been a penalty.
Min 69 | Bale swings a cross towards the box. It takes a bounce and Ronaldo is sniffing around but it goes straight to Alves. Game has reached top speed now at this point. A goal looks like it could be imminent.
Min 68 | Straight up the other end and Mangala gets booked for chopping Benzema down. From the resulting free, Benzema gets above the ball and headers but Alves' turns it over the crossbar. The referee says Benzema was climbing on a defender and awards a free out.
Min 67 | Varane has a nightmare as Zaza breathes down his neck. He misses it and Zaza gets control but he then gets taken down by Carvajal with a shoulder charge as Navas comes out to collect.
Min 66 | Carvajal volleys a cross towards Ronaldo, who tries to shoulder it into the net but Alves gets down to save as Modric makes a dart but is boxed off by the defender.
Real Madrid substitution - Gareth Bale comes on in place of James Rodriguez.
Min 64 | Benzema links up with Marcelo again as the left-back rifles a shot into Alves' side netting.
Min 63 | Ronaldo was down clutching his knee but it was a head injury or the impact of the fall. He's up and ready to carry on in any case.
Min 62 | Ronaldo down in a heap after trying to reach a long cross by Carvajal. Doesn't look good for the number seven as he clashed heads and then hit the ground like a ton of bricks.
Min 61 | Parejo runs down the endline like a tightrope walker. He manages to gets a shot off but Navas saves for a corner.
Min 59 | Varane booked as he kicks Gaya in the head. High foot, but the height differential was mostly to blame there. Nothing malicious by Varane and the ref knows it.
Min 59 | Perez wins a much-needed free for Valencia as James pushes him in the back.
Min 57 | Carvajal with a heavy touch deep in enemy territory and Mangala clears. All Real Madrid at the moment.
Valencia substitution - Carlos Soler replaces Fabian Orellana.
Min 54 | Ronaldo in but Mangala gets back and between the attacker and the goal. Ronaldo falls and looks for the penalty. On first look, there was no chance BUT Mangala left his leg in there. Would have been soft but *cliche alert* I've seen them given!
Min 53 | Valencia looking increasingly shaky at the back, and Real Madrid gaining dominance. Ronaldo tries to break through this time but Valencia clear.
Min 52 | Casemiro to Benzema, who puts Marcelo in. His shot takes a defelction but Alves gets down and is equal to it.
Min 51 | Zaza downs Casemiro this time with a blow to the face.
Min 50 | Kroos swings in a cross but Valencia clear after Orellana kicks it up in the air and Marcelo fouls Munir.
Min 49 | Zaza throwing himself around again but he fouls Ramos this time. Not happy with the call but he manages a smile. He has been a major headache for Real Madrid so far.
Min 47 | Marcelo links up with Benzema as the stirke rpulls it back but Marcelo's shot is blocked and Valencia break. Zaza beats Varane in a sprint to the clearance (not something you see everyday) and Varane fouls.
Min 46 | Another helter-skelter 45 minutes? Yes, please! We are underway.
Valencia shocked Real Madrid, and might have actually shocked themselves with such a good start. They had two on the board before Real Madrid realised they were in a game. Since then, however, Real Madrid have started to assert themselves on the game and Ronaldo's header after 44 minutes has set us up perfectly for the second half. I would expect to see Bale, depending on his fitness, fairly soon, as Zidane could really do with a win here to put some breathing space between themselves and Barcelona at the top of the league.
HT at the Mestalla.
Min 45 | So close! Ronaldo nearly has another a she fires just wide of Alves' post. The keeper was welded to his spot and if that was on target, he had no chance. Replay shows that it took a deflection off Mangala, which explains Alves not moving.
GOAL! GOAL! GOAL! Ronaldo hangs in the air for what felt like four seconds and he meets Marcelo's cross with a header, beyond the out-stretched Alves. The perfect tonic to what was a frustrating half for Zidane's men.
Min 43 | Zaza in again but his cross is met by a Real Madrid defender. Ramos slips on his way out to clear the ball properly and it bounces around befor eModric gets it and starts a counter. Munir fouls him and receives a yellow card for the hassle.
Min 41 | Munir back helping out as he chests a cross in his own box and launches it into outer space. Real Madrid get it back when it lands and start again. Valencia perfectly happy with this current situation.
Valencia substitution - Siqueira comes on for Nani. He is a traditionally a left-back but will obviously be tasked with keeping an eye on the ambitious Carvajal.
Min 39 | Carvajal gets two touches in ahead of Valencia defenders and manages to keep possession before swinging one to Ronaldo, who tries a fancy backheel. Alves collects.
Min 37 | Parejo has a shot after Nani lays it off to him. The Portuguese attacker is down with a thigh injury and he is signalling that he needs to come off.
Min 36 | Modric makes his way down the right and zips a cross into Ronaldo. Alves makes it to the ball first.
Min 35 | A dangerous cross intoRonaldo by James is headered back to Alves but he leaves it short and Real Madrid win it back before the home side eventually clear it for a corner. Real Madrid go short and it comes to nothing.
Min 34 | James gets the ball inside the penalty area but Garay stops him going any further. A frustrating opening for James.
Min 32 | Parejo loses control of the ball and throws himself into a tackle with Casemiro. Free out to Real Madrid, ending a very decent spell for the hosts.
Min 30 | Dani Parejo fires the free towards the goal and Navas punches it away. We nearly had a third if it wasn't for the Costa Rican.
Min 29 | From the resulting free, Carvajal fouls Zaza as the much longer Italian gets a foot to the ball ahead of the Spanish defender. Yellow card for Carvajal and free to Valencia in a dangerous position.
Min 28 | Carvajal collides with Gaya in the air. He gestures that he had his arms by side and upon a second look, he did.
Min 26 | Kroos has been dictating play in the middle but still no breakthrough for the visitors. They are trying their luck down the left, the right, the middle and over the top but Valencia closes them down and making them work for every half-chance they get.
Min 24 | Zaza fouls Carvajal and has to be calmed down by Nani. After the ball went out Zaza pulled his arm back and the right-back fell backwards. All very tame stuff.
Min 21 | If you can't go through them, go over them, as Benzema lofts a shot from 30 yards out and nearly beats Alves. From the corner, Valencia break again and only lose out when Perez overhits a pass to Munir.
Min 19 | Valencia really setting out their stall here and working on the counter. They are sitting back and letting Real Madrid dominate possession. The visitors have every reason, however, to respect their counter after that opening!
Min 18 | Zaza is a little too fired up as he chops down Ramos, who is grabbing his ankle in pain.
Min 17 | Ronaldo drives a shot low to Alves' right but he was offside. Replays suggest it was not offside at all.
15 minute update - Real Madrid looks visibly shook after that start by Valencia. They have looked dangerous going forward but are a bag of nerves at the back. The scoreline, after 15 minutes, speaks for itself but Valencia are working tirelessly on and off the ball and I'm not entirely sure that Real Madrid expected such a hectic start. Still 75 to play though.
Min 14 | From the corner, Benzema breaks and finds Ronaldo. His shot goes straight across the mouth of the goal and lands to Carvajal. He turns it back towards goal but Gaya is there to prevent it from going in.
Min 14 | Valencia nearly make it three. A cross finds its way to Munir and his left-footed effort is turned over the crossbar by Varane. Corner to the home side.
Min 12 | Kroos breaks free with Parejo in chase but he gets it to Ronaldo and his shot goes wide of Alves' right -hand post.
Min 10 | Real Madrid win a corner but Casemiro headers drops into the hands of Alves. Valencia try to build another counter as Kroos pulls down Cancelo.
GOAL! What is happening? Orellana with Valencia's second as he slots under Navas. Zaza passes to Nani, who finds the former Celta Vigo attacker and he drives low and hard beyond the Real Madrid keeper. Los Blancos at sixes-and-sevens at the back as the Chilean was free through on goal.
Min 6 | Real Madrid try to respond as Kroos hits one with the inside of his right - his trademark move. It is blocked and goes out for a corner and from that Real pressure Valencia again. A series of clearances later and Real still have the ball.
GOAL! GOAL GOAL! Holy cow. What a start. Benzema and co press Real Madrid up high but Alves pings a pass to Cancelo, who passes to Munir and he crosses to Zaza. The striker manages to turn after one touch and curls past Navas with his back to goal! What a finish, what a start.
Min 3 | Voro throwing some shapes early on. He is telling one of his defenders to face the ball, it seems. Not too sure about the instructions but they'd make some killer moves on the dance floor (I've taken a mental note).
Min 2 | Marcelo swings in the corner after taking it short from Kroos and Garay clears under pressure from Casemiro. The Brazilian fouled the defender in the process.
Min 1 | Dangerous ball in behind for Benzema. The calls for offside fall on deaf ears. The French striker tries to get it across the penalty area but it's cleared for a corner.
Min 1 | We are underway at the Mestalla!
Valencia vs Real Madrid: team news
18:43 | The two teams emerge onto the field for what is a lovely Valencia night. 16 degress and not as much as a hint of rain expected. Hopefully the football is just as pleasant!
18:35 | Valencia have improived immensely under Voro but they are still not clear of relegation. They currently sit 15th but a win tonight could move them up a place, ahead of Real Betis.
18:32 | Real Madrid out warming up in their spiffy purple numbers. Ramos practising some shooting from outside the box - is he getting notions? After some very short and sharp sprinting, they head back to the dressing room for one last dressing down by Zidane.
18:27 | Real Madrid have the chance to go four clear of Barcelona tonight with a win. They also have another game in hand against Celta Vigo, when the game was called off due to poor weather conditions.
18:16 | Ronaldo has adapted his game this season and Zinedine Zidane said recently that he prefers playing on the wing. His goals are down but his overall contribution in recent weeks is improving.
18:13 | Cristiano Ronaldo looking to improve on his five goals scored at the Mestalla. He will be also looking to close the gap on Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in the race for Pichichi.
18:10 | The last time Real Madrid won at the Mestalla was back in December 2013. Jese won all three points for Los Blancos with a late goal as it finished 2-3.
18:08 | The last time they beat Real Madrid was in January 2015. It was 2-1 with goals from Nicolas Otamendi and Antonio Barragan - two players who have since moved on to play in the Premier League.
18:05 | Real Madrid have not been beaten in 15 of their ast 16 games against Valencia.
17:53 | Valencia looked very lively indeed against Athletic Bilbao and that front four of Munir, Nani, Zaza and Orellana could cause Real Madrid and anyone they face this season trouble.
17:46 | The team news is in and Gareth Bale starts on the bench. James Rodriguez starts alongside Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo up front. The Welsh man is so close to returning to full fitness but the tie has come just a couple of days too soon for him. You'd expect him to come on though.
17:15 | Nani says Valencia are keen to take on Real Madrid tonight as a measure of the club's progress after a disastrous start to the season.
16:20 | James Rodríguez insists Zidane's rotation policy this season has not been a hindrance on him, or the rest of the squad.
15:30 | AS columnist, Frederic Hermel, discusses why he thinks Zidane's pre-meditated plan for Cristiano Ronaldo has come to fruition exactly at the right moment for Real Madrid as the club enters a vital period of the season...
14:25 | Mestalla was also the setting for the end of Real Madrid's winning game run in January 2015 under Carlo Ancelotti.
13:45 | Could this be Isco's last trip to Mestalla as a Real Madrid player? Definitely maybe....
13:00 | Director of AS, Alfredo Relaño is also excited about the prospect of tonight's game.
12:15 | Spanish TV personality Jesus "on-fire" Gallego feels that tonight's game at Mestalla will be key in deciding that fate of the 2016/17 league title.
11:30 | Last season's 2-2 draw at Mestalla was not enough to save Rafa Benitez from losing his position as Real Madrid first team coach.
Valencia vs Real Madrid: match preview
Real Madrid will play Valencia at the Mestalla on Wednesday evening in the first of two fixtures that the club have had postponed in LaLiga this season. The original meeting, scheduled for last December, could not be played as Los Blancos were in Japan for the FIFA Club World Cup, where they beat Kashima Antlers in the final.
Voro’s side team broke a three-match run without a win (or even a single goal) after beating Athletic Bilbao at home on Sunday, ensuring Valencia arrive at this match against Real Madrid in higher morale than has been the case recently. With 23 points, Los Ché sit in 15th place in the league, seven points ahead of the relegation zone. Indeed, despite the victory this weekend, all has not been well at the Mestalla this season: the team have gained more points on their travels (12) than at their own stadium (11), winning just three from ten league games at the famous ground.
With Santi Mina and Rodrigo still sidelined, Voro must restructure his lineup, just as he did during the last match where Nani and Zaza, getting his first for the club, scored the goals. A victory for Valencia against Real Madrid, just as they managed two years ago (2-1) over Carlo Ancelotti’s side, could really help turn the club’s season around.
Player to watch: Parejo. The Madrid-born midfielder is the key player in making Valencia tick.
Sitting pretty at the top of LaLiga with two games in hand, Real Madrid will be looking to extend their lead over second-placed Barcelona further and take all three points away from Valencia.
Zidane’s team ensured they retained their pole league position on Saturday by brushing aside a tame Espanyol; the victory made all the sweeter by the goalscoring return of Gareth Bale from a three-month injury layoff. They go into this match, too, boasting an enviable away record having won six, drawn two and lost just one (at Sevilla) on the road in 2016/17.
With Sergio Ramos missing out through injury last time out, Zidane faces a decision whether to field his captain against Los Ché. The Madrid coach made seven changes to his lineup against Espanyol, resting several key players, so the likes of Modric, Casemiro and Benzema are all expected to return. Gareth Bale, meanwhile, could continue his reintegration into the side with another cameo appearance from the bench.
Player to watch: Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese player, despite not finding the net as easily as he used to, has improved his form during the past few weeks and is getting back to his best level.
Valencia vs Real Madrid: possible lineups
Possible Valencia XI: Diego Alves, Cancelo, Garay, Mangala, Siqueira, Carlos Soler, Enzo Pérez, Parejo, Orellana, Zaza, Nani
Possible Real Madrid XI: Keylor Navas, Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Marcelo, Modric, Kroos, Casemiro, Bale, Benzema, Cristiano