Real Madrid’s LaLiga champions fell to a resounding 4-1 loss at Valencia, with a stunning clash with Carlos Soler netting three penalties.
As Valencia ended a four-match winless streak in LaLiga with a Real Madrid 4-1 rout at Mestalla, Carlos Soler scored a hat-trick of penalties.
Soler’s penalties were added to Raphael Varane’s own goal as Valencia came from behind in a frantic game, the first of which had to be re-taken due to an infringement by Yunus Musah.
The scoring opened with a thunderous strike by Karim Benzema, who has now scored more LaLiga goals than any other player since the resumption in June, his fifth goal in his last four top-flight meetings with Valencia.
But the brilliance of Benzema was not enough to inspire the defensively suspicious side of Zinedine Zidane, whose suffering was compounded when Sergio Ramos managed to concede a third spot-kick, which Soler duly scored to condemn Madrid to a second LaLiga 2020-21 loss.
Madrid scored first, with a thumping 23rd-minute strike, Benzema catching Jaume Domenech out, but the handball of Lucas Vazquez gave Valencia an opportunity to equalise.
Yet the hosts were doing it the hard way. Musah slammed home after Soler saw his penalty saved and hit the post on the rebound, only for it to be disallowed after VAR noticed the 17-year-old had breached the field.
Referee Jesus Gil Manzano ordered the penalty to be re-taken and at the second time of asking, while Thibaut Courtois again guessed the correct direction, Soler beat Madrid’s goalkeeper.
More drama followed when before half-time Valencia took the lead, Varane unintentionally looping the cross over Courtois by Maxi Gomez, who struggled to avoid the ball from crossing the line.
It was only given after a long VAR check, however, which also considered that Denis Cheryshev had not fouled Marco Asensio in the build-up.
Straight after the restart, Courtois made a brilliant save, tipping Lee Kang-In’s shot onto the upright, but soon he picked the ball out of his net again.
Gomez was scythed down by Marcelo, and Soler stepped up into the bottom-right corner to convert.
In the 63rd minute, a spectacular hat-trick and a fantastic win in Valencia were rounded off, Soler picking out the same corner after Ramos hit the ball away from Musah.
What does that imply? Gracia ends Madrid Hoodoo
Valencia coach Javi Gracia managed his first LaLiga victory over Madrid at the seventh try, and the win brings Valencia to ninth, level with Barcelona on 11 points.
They are five behind Madrid, who are fourth, four points off the Real Sociedad pacesetters going into the global break. Zidane also lost Benzema to what late on seemed to be a groin problem.
Soler in the Record Books of LaLiga
The first attempt by Soler from 12 yards was bad, but the following three were all dispatched with supreme confidence. The 23-year-old became the first player to score three penalties in a single LaLiga match in the 21st century by scoring a hat-trick of spot-kicks, and he was directly involved in five goals in his last three meetings at Mestalla with Madrid.
Again Varane ‘s poor luck hits
While the entire defence of Madrid must shoulder the blame, one man stands out in particular. The attempted clearance of Varane from Gomez’s cross, which resulted in Valencia’s second goal, was a bad one, and in his last five games for Madrid, the French international has now scored two own goals in all competitions, as many as he had in his previous 324 matches.
Key details from Opta
— For the first time since October 1995, Valencia scored four goals in a LaLiga match against Real Madrid (4-3 at Mestalla).
— The last time Madrid conceded four or more goals in a single LaLiga game was at Camp Nou (5-1) in October 2018 against Barcelona, the final match in charge of Julen Lopetegui.
-Benzema’s goal in the away LaLiga game was just his second from outside the box. The first one was against Almeria in November 2013.
—Soler’s hat-trick was the first against Malaga by a Valencia player in LaLiga since Simone Zaza in September 2017.
— For the first time under Zidane, Madrid conceded four goals in a single LaLiga game.
And what is next?
In their first fixture back after the international break, Madrid travels to Villarreal, while Valencia takes on Deportivo Alaves a day later.