Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos,
Raúl Albiol, Marcelo; Gago (Lass 69'), Xavi Alonso, Van der Vaart
(Granero 78'), Guti; Cristiano Ronaldo, Higuaín (Benzema 82'). 4-4-2.
Valencia: César; Bruno, Alexis, Maduro, Jordi Alba; Albelda (Baraja 70'), Banega; Pablo Hernández (Joaquín 46'), Silva, Mata (Vicente 60'); David Villa. 4-2-3-1.
1-0. 25. Higuaín. Picked up Guti pass and ran on to curl shot past César.
2-0. 78. Cristiano Ronaldo. Struck shot wide of keeper from Marcelo cross.
Yellow cards: Alexis 29', Maduro 39', Bruno 51', Ronaldo 66', Albiol 92'.
Real Madrid were up to the challenge on Sunday, beating third placed Valencia 2-0 to move to within a point of leaders Barcelona. Pellegrini's side dominated the early minutes, and midway through the first half Guti won the ball in midfield and put Higuaín through for him to beat César. Alexis cleared off the line from Van der Vaart and Higuaín lobbed just over the top as Madrid pushed for a second, but Mata and Silva both hit the woodwork before Cristiano Ronaldo latched on to Marcelo's cross to wrap things up with twelve minutes to go.