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2018/2019 Spanish Primera División
  • Gonçalo Guedes (35')
  • Ezequiel Garay (83')
  • Karim Benzema (90'+3')

Zinedine Zidane handed first defeat since Real Madrid return

Real Madrid's harrowing campaign continued as they fell to a ninth defeat in La Liga and their first since coach Zinedine Zidane returned as they were deservedly beaten 2-1 away by a resurgent Valencia on Wednesday.

Portugal international Goncalo Guedes fired Valencia into the lead in the 35th minute with a thumping shot from inside the area which was too powerful for Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

Madrid had played well until conceding, but lost momentum after the goal and Valencia continued to threaten into the second half, finally doubling their lead with a header by defender Ezequiel Garay from a corner in the 83rd.

- Real Madrid ratings: Modric 5/10 as Valencia end Zidane's unbeaten run

Karim Benzema headed in a consolation goal for Madrid in stoppage time, shortly after Zidane's side had a penalty decision overturned after a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review ruled Sergio Ramos was offside.

Madrid are stuck in third on 57 points, 13 behind La Liga leaders Barcelona and five behind city rivals Atletico Madrid.

Valencia, who have reached the Copa del Rey final and the quarter-finals of the Europa League, have Champions League qualification in their sights after climbing up to fifth in the table on 46 points, one behind fourth-placed Getafe.

The win extended their unbeaten run to 17 games in all competitions, their longest stretch without defeat in their 100-year history.

It was Zidane's first away game since returning to the club after Santiago Solari was sacked last month, having won his first two games back against Celta Vigo and Huesca.

As he had promised ahead of the match, the Frenchman made sweeping changes from the team that had beaten Huesca, bringing back seven players including Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Navas as Isco and Gareth Bale dropped to the bench.

Madrid dominated the early stages but could not turn their possession to chances and once Valencia took the lead through Guedes they rarely looked like letting it slip.

Marcelino's side missed a gilt-edged chance to seal victory when Kevin Gameiro attempted a backheel pass towards Carlos Soler when it would have been easier to shoot at goal.

But Argentine Garay made up for his team mate's wastefulness by effectively sealing the points with a towering header from captain Dani Parejo's corner.

Spanish Primera División Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 Barcelona 38 +54 87
2 Atletico Madrid 38 +26 76
3 Real Madrid 38 +17 68
4 Valencia 38 +16 61
5 Getafe 38 +13 59
6 Sevilla FC 38 +15 59
7 Espanyol 38 -2 53
8 Athletic Bilbao 38 -4 53
9 Real Sociedad 38 -1 50
10 Real Betis 38 -8 50
11 Alavés 38 -11 50
12 Eibar 38 -4 47
13 Leganes 38 -6 45
14 Villarreal 38 -3 44
15 Levante 38 -7 44
16 Real Valladolid 38 -19 41
17 Celta Vigo 38 -9 41
18 Girona 38 -16 37
19 Huesca 38 -22 33
20 Rayo Vallecano 38 -29 32