Valencia 4-1 Real Madrid: Carlos Soler scores a hat-trick of penalties to stun LaLiga champions and pile the pressure back on Zinedine Zidane
- Karim Benzema opened the scoring for Real Madrid with a powerful drive
- Carlos Soler levelled from spot just 12 minutes later after a re-take was called
- The hosts then went ahead before half time as Rafael Varane sliced an own goal
- Soler scored his second and third both also from penalties to put Valencia 4-1 up
Carlos Soler scored a hat-trick of penalties past Thibaut Courtois as Valencia stunned Real Madrid beating them 4-1 at Mestalla.
Only two players had scored three penalties in the same game in the same game before in the history of La Liga and one of those was Alfredo di Stefano. Soler also missed a spot-kick that had to be retaken for encroachment.
This was a strange match – Madrid will play worse and win, but the spotlight will still be on Zinedine Zidane who started with Isco and Marcelo in the absence of coronavirus positives Eden Hazard and Casemiro and showed great reluctance in the second half to throw on Luka Jovic.
Carlos Soler scored three penalties as Valencia stunned Real Madrid by four goals to one
It is Madrid’s second LaLiga defeat of the season as they were beaten heavily at the Mestalla
Benzema put Real Madrid into the lead on 28 minutes when he combined with Marcelo and Isco down the left before rifling the ball past Jaume Domenech from outside the area.
The French forward now has five goals in his last five games. Valencia could have folded but they were gifted a way back into the game when Lucas Vazquez handled a cross in the area and Valencia were awarded a penalty. Soler stepped but Courtois made the save. From the rebound Soler hit the post and when the ball came back out for a second time it was Yunus Musah who fired the ball into the roof of the net.
It looked like a second goal in a week for the 17-year-old former Arsenal forward but the fun was spoiled by VAR spotting that Musah had a half-step inside the area. The kick was retaken and Soler, who scored a pressure spot-kick in minute 99 of Valencia’s dramatic draw with Getafe last week, this time he squeezed the kick under Courtois’ dive.
Karim Benzema had given Madrid the lead after 23 minutes with a powerful strike
Soler responded from the spot just 12 minutes later to draw Valencia level at the Mestalla
Valencia were in-front having responded brilliantly to Benzema’s fantastic opener. Soon they were in front when Raphael put the ball past his own keeper. There was a delay for VAR to check the ball had crossed the line. The decision went the home side’s way.
Valencia started the second half strongly. Domenech had to react sharply closing Benzema down on the edge of his area but Kang-In Lee responded immediately with a shot off Courtois’ left-hand upright.
On 53 minutes Soler had made it 3-1 from the penalty spot. Marcelo was harshly adjudged to have fouled Maxi Gomez. Soler again kept his penalty low and beat Courtois who dived the right way.
Rafael Varane sliced the ball into his own net before half time to put the home side ahead
Valencia’s lead was stretched to two when Soler finished his second from the spot
TEAM LINEUPS AND MATCH FACTS
Valencia starting XI: Jaume, Wass, Paulista, Guillamon, Gaya, Musah, Soler, Racic, Cheryshev, Maxi, Guedes.
Goals: Soler (35′ P, 54′ P, 64 P), Varane OG (43′)
Real Madrid starting XI: Courtois, Vazquez, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo, Valverde, Isco, Modric, Vinicius, Asensio, Benzema
Goals: Benzema (23′)
Real Madrid were 3-1 down and stunned but there was more to come. Another penalty, and this time no doubt about its validity. Ramos was trying to wrestle the ball away from Musah. Inadvertently he batted the ball away with his hand and once referee Jesus Gil had seen it pitchside he could only do one thing. He pointed to the spot and Soler found the corner past Courtois once more to make it 4-1.
According to Spanish football statistician Mister Chip a penalty hat-trick had only been managed twice in La Liga history. Di Stefano did it against Celta Vigo and 1958 and Alen Peternac managed it against Oviedo for Valladolid in 1996.
Compounding Real Madrid’s misery Benzema limped off with a groin problem. The sight of the Frenchman leaving the game made Jovic’s presence on the bench even more mysterious. Rodrygo was already on with Martin Odegaard, Mariano Diaz was the first change with the 60m euros man finally coming on as Zidane’s last throw of the dice.
Ramos stayed forward for most of the last ten minutes but even he couldn’t conjure a comeback from this mess. Soler took the matchball home, Valencia the three points. And Zidane heads into a fortnight without matches and another inquest.
The Spanish international made no mistake with his third penalty to put Valencia in dreamland