Benzema saves Real Madrid from defeat at the death
Valencia vs Real Madrid: as it happened!
GAME OVER! 1-1. Benzema with the goal.
What a finish that is.
GOAL! Benzema with the goal. Courtois with a header that he nearly scores from. It lands to Benzema and he buries it into the roof of the net.
GOAL! Jovic handles it though. He scores but he handled the ball. He was offside too.
A case of mistaken identity as the referee takes the yellow and gives it to Modric after previously giving it to someone else.
Ferran Torres off for Diakhaby. Valencia shutting things down.
Wass with a cross after a nice move from Valencia. He absolute launches it out for a throw.
Rodrigo with the ball now and tries to run Varane. The defender gets a toe to it and turns Rodrigo around. Throw for Madrid is the result.
Vinicius tries to run through a couple of Valencia players. He hits the ground and falls over looking like he was caught but the referee says no.
Bale with a cross and Domenech completely misjudges it. It falls to him anyway as he flaps at it but Bale's cross was out of play anyway.
Handball from Ramos. Valencia win a free now and have a chance to whip it in.
Bale takes the free. It hits the wall and he heads down into a group of players from the rebound. Ball is crossed in and Domenech is out with his boxing gloves on. He is fouled and the Mestalla are loving this.
Bale is pulled down outside the box. Gaya slides in and takes him down, ref sprints over and Bale lines this one up.
GOAL! GOAL! GOAL! Soler buries it. The ball in from the right is perfect from Wass and Soler buries it.
Carvajal gets a yellow card. It's barely even a foul. But he had fouled a few times before that and I guess the referee saw it as an accumulation of fouls.
Carvajal tries one from distance but that's a country mile wide.
Benzema breaks through. He lays it off to Vinicius but it's an awful pass way out of his natural running path. The Brazilian shoots and it's blocked out for a corner. Good chance for Madrid.
Jovic looks like he might be the last one to come on for Madrid. He's warming up.
Kroos tries one from outside the box.
Real Madrid looking for a way through now. Wass stands on Vinicius' foot and they have a free.
Bale and Vinicius on. Isco and Rodrygo off.
Courtois with another save. Valencia plying it on.
Valencia defending again but Real Madrid have no ideas here.
First change is Jaume Costa off for Manu Vallejo.
Rodrygo back to Carvajal and then back again as he delivers a cross into Isco. Header goes wide of the post.
Rodrigo tries to spin but he's surrounded by Real Madrid players and they can't hold onto it. Real Madrid win it back.
Vinicius and Bale out warming up. Zidane's side have lost some control of this, if not all of it.
Carvajal with a cross into the box now but it's not great and Valencia win it back.
Kroos tries to launch a pass across the field. Headed back to the keeper and they start again. Valencia really having the better of this one now.
Parejo with a beautiful pass through the middle and Valencia have a great chance. Crossed by Wass and it's scrambled out for a corner.
Isco out on the left. He crosses but Costa has him well marshalled and blocked the cross.
Carvajal pulled down by Gaya and no card. He wants one as he was on the break forward with some space ahead of him. No card coming.
Carvajal under some pressure and he heads it back to Courtois.
Ferran with a perfect chance. Gets played through and Courtois is out to save.
And we get the go ahead from the referee! Can Valencia hold out?
Teams back out on the field. We are ready to get back underway!
No. The referee blows the half-time whistle just as the clock ticks 45.
Valencia with a rare attack. They lose it and after a game of ping pong in the middle of the field, it goes back to Courtois. Real Madrid with one last attack before the break?
Nacho sends in a cross that turns into a shot and it hits the side netting. He had the keeper scrambling for a second but never really troubling him.
Carvajal turns onto his left and shoots. It's blocked and he crosses but it's headed clear and Real Madrid win the throw.
Wass clatters into Nacho and he hits the ground roaring. Straight into the lower back and the ref runs over but no yellow card. Sore one for Nacho.
Kroos takes and Ramos glances it wide. Ref's whistle blows and there's a second of hesitation to see what it is. It's a......push in the back from Ramos and a free to Valencia.
He caught Carvajal on the ankle.
Soler with a foul on Carvajal. He swings a kick at his ankle and not entirely sure he can have any complaint there.
Cross from the left and Ferran Torres with the header. Lovely delivery and Courtois was beaten there. Heads over the bar.
Benzema lays off to Rodrygo and he tries a shot but it's an awkward looking one and slices it wide before it's blocked. Real Madrid turning it up a notch again.
Kroos tries again. Valencia try to break but Benzema picks it up again. Valencia win it after a scramble in the box and Modric fouls Coquelin as he tries to counter.
Soler is fouled by Carvajal and Valencia have a chance to send the free in.
There is one of those quick counter. Rodrigo gets it, rounds Varane but loses it before Parejo is fouled by Valverde.
Valverde to Rodrygo. He gets it to Isco and Valencia win it back through Soler. Madrid press and win it back. Madrid doing a good job of preventing those quick counters.
Coquelin with a ball over to Wass and Valencia are patient again. They send it back to attack a different route. Still in possession.
Valencia have gotten to grips with Real Madrid here. Still some good attacking play from the visitors but Valencia getting out with the ball a bit more.
Benzema races through the middle and lays it off to Rodrygo. He squares and it's cleared but only as far as a green jersey. Ball comes back in from Carvajal and Rodrygo heads it down and into the hands of Domenech.
More pressure not as Benzema links well with Benzema and curls one just wide.
Ferran Torres breaks down the right and gets the better of Varane. He spins and shots but it's low and Courtois saves. Signs of life in Valencia after a limp start.
Lovely pass by Parejo over the top. It's offside after Valencia thought they won a corner.
He delivers a nice ball out to Gaya and he traps it. Modric blocks the cross into the air but it's not out for a corner. Valencia win the throw though and keep it. Better from them.
Parejo slows it all the way down now before taking.
Valencia weather that storm and try to inflict some samage themselves. Rodrygo stands on Wass' foot and wins the free.
Great chance! Benzema with the header. Nacho whips it in with his left and he heads wide.
Paulista out for a throw. More Real Madrid pressure.
This is going to be a very long night for Valencia if it remains like this. They did learn, under Marcelino, how to soak up pressure though.
Nacho takes one down with his chest and launches it into the Valencia sky.
Valencia with a chance on the ball now. They're very cautious as they bring it out from the back and they're right to be too because as soon as they get it forward, they lose it.
Isco squares one and Valencia come away with it. They're moving the ball well, pressing well and Valencia no real answer yet.
Benzema drops all the way out to the left and picks it up. No way through yet for them but they've had all the ball. Nacho crosses and it's half-cleared. Valverde with a bullet shot low and forced a save from Domenech.
Still all Real Madrid. Carvajal inside and Paulista shields the ball from Valverde. Another goalkick.
Goalkick. Rodyrgo goes down under a challenge from Coquelin and there are some afters. He just outmuscled him but I think some of the Valencia players thought he took a big of a dive.
Carvajal down the right and he links with Isco. Madrid in a good position but Valencia force them all the way back.
Real Madrid with all the ball to start. Playing the patience game here early doors. Valencia sitting and waiting.
We are underway at Mestalla.
Parejo and Ramos up for the toss. They share a laugh and a handshake and we are almost ready for action.
The teams emerge onto the field!
Casemiro has 125 ball recoveries this season. Between Modric, Valverde and Kroos, they have 148, which is 23 higher than the Brazilian alone!
The game tonight will see two friends, Zinedine Zidane and Albert Celades, reunited, but this time from the dugouts of their respective clubs, Real Madrid and Valencia.
Isco is another player having a little resurgence at Real Madrid. He didn't play a full game until recently when he started and finished against Alaves. He is on the field again tonight from the start.
With the Clásico on the horizon, Barcelona are heading into it reeling and frustrated. They thought they should have had a late penalty against Real Sociedad and didn't get it. Real Sociedad have since responded to their ire. Real Madrid could pour it on tonight with a win to head into the game on Wednesday with their tails up. They go to of the league if they win.
Ferran Torres starts tonight for Valencia:
He has three goals and two assists in 15 LaLiga games this season and is still just a teenager,
Valencia XI: Domenech, Jaume Costa, Paulista, Soler, Parejo, Gaya, Coquelin, Wass, Rodrigo, Ferran Torres, Garay.
Casemiro has not been shown a yellow card in 421 minutes in the league. Not since November 2 has he gone into the referee's naughty book. Zidane not taking any risks today though.
Meanwhile, Nacho comes in at left-back and plays due to Marcelo and Mendy's absence.
Real Madrid subs: Areola, Militao, Bale, Casemiro, Jovic, Odriozola, Vinicius.
Real Madrid XI: Courtois, Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Nacho, Kroos, Valverde, Modric, Isco, Rodrygo, Benzema.
Valencia are not without their own injury concerns and go into the game tonight pretty battered up.
Kevin Gameiro: muscle injury to his left hamstring, to be assessed in the coming days
Maxi Gómez: muscle injury to his right hamstring, to be assessed in the coming days
Jasper Cillessen: muscle injury to his right hamstring, to be assessed in the coming days
Celades on his relationship with Zidane:
"We shared a lot of time together in the same dressing room. I don't have a relationship in which we are in daily contact, but it's a good relationship. He's someone who was a great player -one of the best ever- and as a coach he also has an incredible résumé. He's done a great job and he's somebody who I respect and admire a lot. I like him a lot, because of the way he is, the time we shared together, his exemplary behaviour and because he's always been a respectful person. I only have good things to say about him."
It looks like he isn't thinking about that game because Casemiro, who is on four yellow cards meaning another one would result in a suspension for him, is in the squad.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of Valencia vs Real Madrid on Sunday night at 21:00 CET. The Clásico is just around the corner (Wednesday) but Zidane said he is not interested in that game for now.