Zinedine Zidane’s second honeymoon is over. The returning coach dropped Gareth Bale and Isco for his most difficult game since taking over last month but Real Madrid were well beaten by Valencia.
Madrid limped unconvincingly past two relegation sides Celta Vigo and Huesca at home in Zidane’s first games back but this was a step up and Madrid stumbled and fell flat on Wednesday night.
Valencia pulled off the perfect first half smash and grab letting Real Madrid have 60 per cent of the possession but not allowing them any real chances and scoring just before half-time.
Against better Madrid sides they would have lived to regret that miss but they soon had another chance and they took it.
Valencia got their second goal when Ezequiel Garay powered a head past Navas from Dani Parejo’s corner. The defender climbed above Casemiro and finished well.
Sergio Ramos believed he had won a last minute penalty when he looked to have been pushed by Diakhaby but the Madrid captain was offside and VAR over-ruled the referee’s decision.
Karim Benzema headed in a consolation goal for Madrid in stoppage time.