Real Madrid go top after hard fought win in Valladolid
Zidane's men emerge from Valladolid with maximum points from a hard fought battle in the Jose Zorilla Stadium.
A late Nacho header proved to be the difference as the defender latched onto a pin-point assist from German midfielder Toni Kroos.
The goal spurred Sergio's men who have now gone nine LaLiga games without a win and played the best football of the evening as the forged, looking for an equaliser that, on the balance of play would have been a just result.
Zidane's men go top of LaLiga and face Atleti in the Madrid derby next weekend with Valladolid facing a Mallorca in a huge relegation battle clash.
A graph, certain to delight all Madrid fans tonight as the Bernabéu sit aloft the LaLiga table some three points ahead of FC Barcelona.
Fans leaving the stadium as De Burgos Bengoetxea calls time on the action. Madrid win but were made to work for their reward.
Madrid set to go top with a 3 point advantage over Barça.
The Brazilian signalling to the bench after picking up a knock.
In the end it's Rodrygo who makes way for the Serbian striker.
Zidane kills some time switching Benzema with Jovic
Since going behind, Valladolid have looked excellent !
The 90' are up and we'll have just 3 minutes of added time.
Call for a penalty as Antonito appears to shove Rodrygo in the area. Ref. waves play on.... Harsh one as it appeared to be an infringement from the defender.
Valverde on for Modric
De Burgos Bengoetxea double checking with VAR and indeed ...no goal... as you were.
Valladolid push .... win a corner .... the ball is in the net but the flag is up as Guardiola slots the ball home. No goal !
The past 5-10 minutes have been the best from Sergio's men all night.
Joaquin unleashes a fine right footed effort from the edge of the box but the ball fizzes just wide of Courtois' post.
The fans find their voice and try and do their bit to inspire the side. Great noise being genrated at the Jose Zorilla now.
Guardiola almost draws the home side level as he sneaks into the box and sees his effort blocked after Courtois had committed.
Nothing Masip could do about that with the ball nestling right in the corner of the net. It was coming based on the pattern of play. Valladolid now need to take a risk and be a little more daring.
Change for the home side - Plano on with Unal making way. A discreet performance from the Turkish striker.
Nacho hauls Villa to the ground and is correctly carded for his conduct.
Final fifteen here in Pucela, still 0-0 ... Madrid push , Valladolid sit.
The Galician winger is on with Isco making way
Lucas Vazquez poised to make an entrance.
Guardiola has been tireless for the home side tonight as he chases down yet another mis-placed pass.
One senses that Valladolid hare hanging on just a bit too much now. Unable to get the ball and conceding cheaply on the occasions they retrieve it.
20' remain and still no movement from the Real Madrid bench.
Madrid pressing Valladolid back now with the men in purple and white sitting deep and looking to strike on the counter.
Benzema goes close again as the French man heads inches wide with Masip struggling. Fine delivery from Rodrygo.
Isco free-kick for Real Madrid on the edge of the Valladolid box and the Benalmadena born central player opts for precision over power and sees the ball drift inches wide.
An hour gone in Pucela, Madrid back in charge possession-wise.
The draw would be enough though for Real Madrid to sit aloft the LaLiga table alone tonight after Barcelona's 2-0 reverse at Valencia on Saturday.
A ragged pattern emerging here with a degree less of precision in the passing game we saw earlier.
Benzema has got to score from there ! Isco finds the French striker in acres of space and taps the ball tamely at Masip.
Change for Sergio's men: Michel off with Villa on
Modric carded for Real Madrid.
Marcelo waits patiently on the Real Madrid bench with playing time tonight set to be the Brazilian's 500th appearance in the famous white shirt.
Madrid win another corner and Ramos sees a blistering header deflected for another corner kick. Zidane's maintain the pressure level as the tempo of the game increases.
Rodrygo forces Masip into action as the keeper gets down well to the Brazilian's effort. The danger created by a marauding run from Casemiro who is impressive once again.
23.404 is the official attendance at the Jose Zorilla tonight, a few thousand short of its 26.000 capacity.
Early corner for Madrid, Kroos takes but Valladolid manage to clear the danger.
De Burgos Bengoetxea sounds his whistle and the second half action commences.
The teams are back on the Jose Zorilla pitch with no changes at the break for either side.
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Decent pace and verve to the game despite little in way of goal mouth action. Casemiro's headed goal, subsequently overruled by VAR one of the key talking points from the half.
The whistle sounds as the action comes to an end. 0-0 after the first 45'
Valladolid work the ball well but the drilled ball into the box is cut out and Benzema launches a counter. 1 minute of time to be added on at the end of this first half.
Late pressure in this first half from the home side as Mendy is forced to concede a corner.
Valladolid break and Unal fails to deliver enough on a pass in the box as the move breaks down. A draw at present possible a fair scoreline based on the balance of play.
Casemiro has a speculative long range effort but his right footed drive fails to trouble Masip and drifts high and over the bar.
A speculative cross forces Courtois into action once again with the Belgian tipping the ball away from the danger zone.
Varane carded as he trips Turkish striker Unal.
Ten' remain here at the Jose Zorilla with the scoreboard still showing 0-0. For all their decent play and possession, Madrid have yet to really trouble Masip in the Valladolid goal.
Guardiola goes to ground and looks for a free-kick claiming he was impeded by Ramos. Ref. de Burgos Bengoetxea waves play on.
Mendy and Rodrygo looking very dangerous for Madrid tonight with both players making mazy runs and teasing the Valladolid rear-guard.
Valladolid's recent form over the past five games, does make for painful reading for fans of the club. Only a win in the Copa over 2B side Marbella offering any 'green' among the red and orange depicting defeats and draws.
Unal fouled by Ramos and the Zorilla crowd bay for a yellow for the Madrid captain.
Goal-less here at the Jose Zorilla with the major talking point being Casemiro's header that was ruled out by VAR. Repeat showings have shown that the Brazilian's arm was in an advanced position with technology getting the marginal decision correct.
The high intensity and pace of the game shows no signs of abating as Valladolid have come back into the picture after early clear domination from the visitors.
Valladolid almost fire the ball in from the corner flag as Courtois is called upon to clear the danger.
Ramos greets the fans as the defender warms up at the Jose Zorilla stadium.
Hold fire.... VAR may be consulted .... Suspicion that the Brazilian may have been offisdei slightly as the dead ball was launched....
Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea administers the first card of the night as Fernandez slides into Casemiro. Terrible challenge and could have been a straight red for the Valladolid man.
Alcaraz wrestled to the ground from a WWF inspired grab from Nacho much to the anger of the home fans. Free-kick awarded.
Valladolid making a concerted effort to play the ball out from the back with short, neat passes. Ramos as always the pantomime villain getting roundly whistled every time the defender comes into contact with the ball.
A frantic start to the opening minutes here with Ramos called into action early as he delivers a backpass to Courtois.
We're underway in Valladolid. Madrid enjoying early possession.
Tonight's match official is Ricardo de Burgos Bengoechea
The teams are in the tunnel with final hugs and hand-shakes before gracing the Jose Zorilla pitch.
Both sides were in action in Copa del Rey action last week with Valladolid falling in Tenerife as Real Madrid progressed to the fourth round beating Unionistas 1-3.
What happened in the corresponding last season I hear you ask .... Despite outplaying the visitors from the capital for large parts of the game, Madrid ran out 1-4 winners on the night with Varane, Benzema (2) & Modric getting on the score sheet for Real Madrid.
This is how the bottom of the LaLiga table looks ahead of the final game of match-week 21 in the 2019-20 season.
December 4 last year was the last time Sergio's Valladolid side recorded a LaLiga win, overcoming fellow relegation battlers Mallorca 3-0 and just 5 points separates the Castilla & Leon based outfit from the drop zone.
Barcelona's defeat at Valencia on Saturday presents Real Madrid with a golden opportunity to top the LaLiga table as Zidane's men require, at minimum a draw at the Jose Zorilla stadium tonight against a Real Valladolid side who are looking over their shoulder, sitting just three places above the drop zone.
Real Madrid tonight sport their dark blue second kit
Real Valladolid will be in their classic purple and white stripes tonight.
It's a fresh January night in the Castilla & Leon capital with a temperature of 7C Celsius but no rain anticipated during the action.
Sergio Ramos is back in the Real Madrid after the captain sustained an ankle problem in the Spanish Super Cup final in Saudi Arabia earlier this month. Zidane also offers Isco the chance to impress with the Costa del Sol born also starting in Pucela tonight.
Team news for both sides is out:
Kick-off is at 21:00.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage as Real Valladolid face Real Madrid as the Jose Zorilla Stadium.