Real Valladolid vs. Real Madrid  2 - 3

Article

Pepe unhappy with referee

9 December 2012 19:18

Real Madrid defender Pepe has criticised the refereeing in his side's 3-2 victory over Valladolid in La Liga on Saturday.

Pepe believes his side were the victims of a number of undeserved yellow cards, and argued that Sergio Ramos' ruled-out strike should have stood.

"It would have been a much more comfortable victory if the goal we scored hadn't been disallowed; Sergio Ramos was not offside," he told AS.

"There are many things going against us, but we are Madrid and we will keep on fighting until the end.

"We were also awarded yellow cards for fouls that were never fouls, but we did our job and we leave here with a clear conscience."

Pepe lamented his team's susceptibility to set pieces.

"We conceded two goals from dead ball situations but we could have scored more. We are working very hard to improve," he said.

"We have to fight and win in every game now, thank God we leave here with three points. The crucial thing is that we all chip in to help us win the next game too."

Article

Callejon upset by set-piece defending

9 December 2012 15:00

Real Madrid winger Jose Callejon says he is irritated by the number of goals from set-pieces his side have conceded.

Jose Mourinho's men recovered from going down 2-1 away to Real Valladolid after a double from Manucho, with Mesut Oezil scoring twice to hand Madrid a 3-2 victory.

The former Espanyol star said he was happy with the win, and praised his side's reaction after falling behind.

"Valladolid went ahead twice, but we managed to react well to get ourselves ahead and hold on, because they made things difficult for us," the 25-year-old told the club's official website.

"We came back with a good goal from Oezil, and I am happy with the match, now we can't drop any points."

But Callejon also spoke of Madrid's poor record of conceding from set-pieces, and said the side must rectify those problems if they are to cut Barcelona's lead.

"These sorts of goals bother me, because we have to be more alert and correct those mistakes," he said.

"The set-piece situations, where opponents use their height advantage, are something we need to keep working on so that what happened in this match does not happen again."

The La Liga champions travel to Celta Vigo in the Copa del Rey in midweek, before facing Espanyol at home next weekend.

Article

Oezil not giving up on La Liga

9 December 2012 13:11

Mesut Oezil believes Real Madrid are still in with a chance of retaining their La Liga title.

The Germany international scored twice as Real battled back from behind to seal a 3-2 win over Valladolid on Saturday and, despite the fact his side trail Barcelona by eight points, he believes there is still cause for optimism this season.

"We are happy because we played well and got the most important thing, which are the three points," the 24-year-old told journalists after the game.

"We are still in the fight. There is a long way to go in the league. They were a tough team and it was a difficult field to play on. In the first half Valladolid played very well, but in the second half we played some good football and we got the goal."

Oezil has now scored four times in 15 league fixtures and added that he was satisfied with his own contribution on the pitch, which included scoring a free-kick with 18 minutes remaining to earn the three points for the visitors.

"I feel good physically and the free-kick was very nice," he said.

"I was confident that I would score it. I'm happy that I scored twice."

Article

Gritty Real Madrid win praise

9 December 2012 02:03

Real Madrid assistant Aitor Karanka praised his side's resilience after they came from behind twice to beat Real Valladolid 3-2 on Saturday.

Valladolid took the lead on seven minutes through striker Manucho and, after Karim Benzema levelled five minutes later, Manucho scored again to give Miroslav Dukic’s side a surprise lead.

But a goal either side of half-time from Mesut Oezil was enough to give the reigning La Liga champions all three points.

"We made mistakes at set-pieces," the assistant coach told the club's official website.

"But you have bear in mind that they were momentary lapses that are correctable and more than anything we can come away confident in the team’s comeback ability, having twice made up for the two mistakes.

"We fought back in a tough and important match."

With the score 2-2 at half-time, Madrid coach Jose Mourinho made a tactical switch that ultimately paid off, with Karanka explaining the reasons behind the changes.

"We were drawing at half-time and we took off Nacho, who had played well and did what he had been asked to, but we were looking for more depth.

"We put (Jose Maria) Callejon at left-back and took off (Alvaro) Arbeloa to put (Sergio) Ramos at right-back and look for more up the wing. Xabi (Alonso) also played at centre-back for a while so that we had more options to build from the back.

"When we went ahead we put (Raphael) Varane at wing-back, which is a more normal change, but the changes we made were all with a view to getting the win."

The 39-year-old then singled out Oezil for praise, stating his belief that his two goals would signal a return to form for the German international.

"He played well, but not only with the ball and scoring the goals, he also did what he needed to. We know very well how well he can play and he showed that throughout the match," he added.

"The work that he did without the ball during the match was spectacular. Today we saw the Mesut Oezil that we all know and that we all like to see."

Article

La Liga wrap: Oezil saves Real Madrid

9 December 2012 00:23

Real Madrid twice came from behind to emerge 3-2 winners over an impressive Valladolid side on Saturday, while Malaga hammered Granada 4-0.

Angolan striker Manucho bagged a brace but it was Madrid midfielder Mesut Oezil who stole the show with the match-winning goal.

Madrid have been poor on the road so far this season and it seemed as though their woes would continue as some awful marking from a corner enabled the hosts to take a seventh-minute lead.

Drawn to the ball, Sergio Ramos left Manucho free in the area and the former Manchester United striker pounced on Alvaro Rubio's pass to open the scoring.

However, five minutes later Valladolid became the culprits of some dire defending themselves as Jose Callejon latched onto a short back pass from Omar Ramos. Combined with a slip from Marc Valiente the Madrid man was able to lay the ball on for Karim Benzema, who slotted in a simple equaliser.

Jose Mourinho's side continued to press, but their good work was undone at the midway point of the first half.

Patrick Ebert's corner was met by Manucho who out-jumped Ramos at the near post to head his side back into the lead on 22 minutes.

Madrid continued in search of an equaliser and their persistence finally paid off on the stroke of half-time as Oezil found Benzema. The striker held the ball before rolling it back to the German and his effort squeezed under goalkeeper Daniel Hernandez and into the net.

Mourinho introduced some fresh legs, one of them being Croatian midfielder Luka Modric and it seemed to galvanise his side with 18 minutes remaining.

A cheap free kick was given away by Henrique Sereno and Oezil took a short run up before bending a majestic effort towards the top corner which crashed in off the bar to make it 3-2.

And that proved enough, as Madrid picked up the three points and move to within two points of second-placed city rivals Atletico, who are scheduled to play Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday.

Surprise-packets Malaga climbed up to fourth in La Liga following their 4-0 drubbing of Granada.

After a storming start to the season, Manuel Pellegrini's side had won just one of their past six league games before Saturday's match but that all changed thanks to goals from Joaquin, Javier Saviola, Ignacio Camacho and Roque Santa Cruz.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Roberto Soldado's 56th-minute goal was enough to down Osasuna 1-0 as Ernesto Valverde's reign as Valencia manager begin on a winning note, while Real Sociedad and Getafe played out a 1-1 draw.

Primera División table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +75 100
2 38 +61 85
3 38 +34 76
4 38 +21 66
5 38 +13 65
6 38 +3 57
7 38 +1 56
8 38 -16 53
9 38 +4 50
10 38 -14 47
11 38 -17 46
12 38 -21 45
13 38 -9 44
14 38 -9 43
15 38 -17 42
16 38 -17 39
17 38 -15 37
18 38 -29 36
19 38 -23 35
20 38 -25 34