Real Madrid secured hard fought 1-0 win against relegation strugglers Valladolid. Real Madrid are now 3 points of league leaders Atletico Madrid who earlier lost against Levante.
A second half Casemiro headed goal gave all 3 points to a depleted Los Blancos. Zidane had named 5 academy graduates in the match-day squad as Madrid continue to struggle with injuries to key players.
Real Madrid were without Karim Benzema
The first half started on expected terms as Madrid dominated possession in the initial stages but it was Valladolid who got the better chances to score. Courtois made a double stop, one from Orellana and another from Danko to keep the scores at 0-0.
Kroos delivers two free-kicks for Real and Casemiro headed wide on both occasions. Mariano had two goals chalked off for offside as Madrid looked for the elusive goal.
Casemiro scored with a 65th-minute header off a cross by Toni Kroos to give Real the win two rounds before it visits Atletico at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. Zidane introduced Castilla player Arribas and striker Hugo Duro who made his debut for the Whites.
Real managed to eke out the win despite missing key players like Hazard, Ramos, Benzema, Valverde, Carvajal and Rodrygo. Benzema recently developed an adductor muscle problem and is now a major doubt for their Champions league fixture against Atalanta.
The win helps Real close the gap on Atletico to just 3 points. Real Madrid will further have chances to reduce the deficit when they face Atletico in La Liga in 2 weeks’ time.