First Division - Day 12

Valencia 0 - Real Madrid 1

Valencia: Cañizares, Miguel, Raúl Albiol, Ayala, Curro Torres (Hugo Viana 82'); Joaquín, Pallardó (Tavano 73'), Baraja, David Silva; Angulo, David Villa (Vicente 15'). 4-4-2.
Madrid: Casillas; Michel Salgado, Sergio Ramos, Cannavaro (Mejía 46'), Roberto Carlos; Diarra, Emerson; Reyes, Raúl, Robinho (De la Red 69'); Van Nistelrooy. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Valencia: Curro Torres, Baraja, Angulo for Cerra, Hugo Viana, Morientes / Madrid: Michel Salgado, Robinho for Iván Helguera, Guti.

0-1. 51. Raúl. Turned Roberto Carlos cross wide of Cañizares on near post.

Real Madrid recorded an important 0-1 win at Valencia to stay within sight of the top two. Quique Flores was once again plagued by injuries, but he decided to include David Villa in his starting line up after he passed a late fitness test. The Spanish international striker felt he should have had penalty early on, but with only a quarter of an hour on the clock he had to abandon the pitch, and with Morientes on the bench but not in condition to play more than a few minutes, Vicente took his place.

The game swung from end to end, Robinho shooting just wide and Silva turning a shot just past the post. Cannavaro was lucky to be let off a possible second yellow card after bringing down Angulo, who fired a shot against the outside of the post shortly before the break. And after the referee turned down a penalty appeal by Baraja after he was held by Cannavaro, Capello decided to replace the central defender with Mejía at the break.

Six minutes after the break though Raúl got what was to prove the only goal of the game, turning a Roberto Carlos cross past his old team mate Cañizares. With Villa off the field, Angulo was given the role up front, but he failed to find the target after Casillas pushed Joaquín's shot into his path three minutes after Raúl's goal. Joaquín and Vicente both shot wide, and penalty appeals were waved away again at both ends. And Angulo missed another chance in front of goal after a quick passing move started by Tavano, who came on shortly before. In the end a vital win for Madrid, and the Chés drop to eighth in the table having only picked up two points in their last four games.