- Sergio Ramos has rejected the suggestion that Real Madrid were punished for a poor attitude in their 2-1 defeat to Valencia on Wednesday. Goal from Simone Zaza and Fabian Orellana in the first nine minutes were enough to give the home side all three points at Mestalla, despite C...Sergio Ramos has rejected the suggestion that Real Madrid were punished for a poor attitude in their 2-1 defeat to Valencia on Wednesday. Goal from Simone Zaza and Fabian Orellana in the first nine minutes were enough to give the home side all three points at Mestalla, despite Cristiano Ronaldo having halved the deficit shortly before the interval. It was the first time in nearly 14 years that Madrid conceded twice in the first 10 minutes of a league game, while they managed only one shot on target in the second half despite enjoying nearly 72 per cent of the possession. Sloppy Madrid give Barca a boost But Ramos has hit out at the idea that Madrid did not have the right mindset, blaming instead some simple errors on the ball that led to the two Valencia goals. "It was a high-intensity game. We wanted to take at least a point. It was a really good game in hand to increase the gap in the table," he said. "Two mistakes at the start penalised us. The team went out to play the game we wanted to from the first minute. Our attacking play sometimes is very risky and we lost the ball twice and conceded a goal each time. "For me, there was no lack of attitude at any moment. We have to turn the page and learn from those mistakes. LaLiga is very long and a lot of things can happen." The defeat - Madrid's third in 2017 - means they remain just a point above Barca at the top of the table ahead of a difficult trip to Villarreal on Sunday, though they do have a game in hand. Zinedine Zidane's side have now lost more matches this year than they did throughout 2016 and Ramos has urged his team-mates to put their success of last year firmly behind them. "We had very good numbers last year but we can't live in the past. You have to learn from mistakes," he said. "We're relaxed. It's still in our hands. We're in a privileged position and we have to know how to take advantage of it." Valencia boss Voro hopes his side take confidence into the rest of the season after only a second league win over Madrid in 15 attempts. "Not only did we get the goals, but we had another very clear chance and a shot from Dani Parejo that the keeper saved really well," he told beIN Sports. "It's true that Madrid dominated in the second half but we managed to hold out. "You don't beat Madrid every day. I congratulate the players for their effort. We have to turn Mestalla into a difficult place for teams to come. This will give us a lot of confidence for the coming games."
- Cristiano Ronaldo ensured Real Madrid set a new club record goalscoring run in all competitions when he found the net in Wednesday's 2-1 defeat to Valencia. After Los Che took a 2-0 lead within the first 10 minutes, Ronaldo met a Marcelo cross and headed in to keep their run go...Cristiano Ronaldo ensured Real Madrid set a new club record goalscoring run in all competitions when he found the net in Wednesday's 2-1 defeat to Valencia. After Los Che took a 2-0 lead within the first 10 minutes, Ronaldo met a Marcelo cross and headed in to keep their run going. Zinedine Zidane's side have now scored in 43 consecutive games. If Madrid manage to find the net against Villarreal on Sunday and then Las Palmas the following week, they will set a new record for a La Liga team for goals in consecutive games. The current record of 44 belongs to Barcelona, who reached it in 1944. But while Madrid are finding the net regularly, they have suffered a dip in form. Wednesday's loss was their third of the calendar year, which is one more than they suffered in all of 2016. The goals from Simone Zaza and Fabian Orellana marked the first time the capital club have conceded twice in the first 10 minutes of a Liga game since 2003, when they did so against Sevilla. It was also the first time Los Blancos have conceded two goals in a first half of a game this season in all competitions. There were positives for Ronaldo, though, who marked his 700th club appearance with a header - and the Portugal international has now scored more headed goals than any other player in Europe's top five leagues in last 10 seasons with 51. Madrid have made good use of his aerial ability, as their tally of 15 headed goals leaves them with the most in the top five European leagues this season.
- Valencia handed a major boost to Barcelona and Sevilla in LaLiga's title race as they beat Real Madrid 2-1 at Mestalla. Two goals in the first nine minutes allowed Voro's side to record only their second victory over Madrid in 15 league meetings and bring the leaders' six-game u...Valencia handed a major boost to Barcelona and Sevilla in LaLiga's title race as they beat Real Madrid 2-1 at Mestalla. Two goals in the first nine minutes allowed Voro's side to record only their second victory over Madrid in 15 league meetings and bring the leaders' six-game unbeaten run in all competitions to an end. Simone Zaza's spectacular turn and half-volley after four minutes had the home fans on their feet, and they were sent into raptures when Fabian Orellana scored his fifth goal of the season following a clinical counter-attack soon afterwards. Madrid began to regain some composure and Cristiano Ronaldo headed home just before the end of a breathless first half of football to give his side some hope. Ronaldo saw a penalty appeal turned down as Madrid built some sustained pressure after half-time, but despite the visitors enjoying nearly 72 per cent of the possession, Diego Alves went largely unworried in the Valencia goal. A surprisingly toothless attack was unable to fashion a late equaliser, meaning Madrid remain just a point above second-place Barca in the table, though they still have a game in hand. Valencia climb to 14th. Zaza, who also scored in Sunday's 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao, put Valencia ahead with only four minutes played, collecting Munir El Haddadi's cross with his back to goal before blasting an unstoppable shot on the turn into the top corner, with the recalled Keylor Navas only able to stand and watch. Five minutes later, a shell-shocked Madrid found themselves two behind. Raphael Varane was dispossessed in the Valencia half and the home side raced through on the break, with Nani sending Orellana into the box to slot through the legs of Navas. Munir saw an effort deflect over the crossbar, before James Rodriguez - who had kept his place in the starting line-up - almost squeezed Ronaldo's low cross over the line at the far post in a breathless opening 20 minutes. Diego Alves reacted brilliantly to keep Karim Benzema's dipping effort from creeping beneath the crossbar but he could do nothing to stop Ronaldo halving the deficit before the break as Madrid made their mounting pressure count. Marcelo was given time down the left to float a superb cross towards the penalty spot, where Ronaldo rose highest to power a header beyond Alves' right hand. Madrid's pressure was relentless after half-time and Ronaldo had a penalty shout waved away after going to ground over an outstretched leg from Eliaquim Mangala, before Zidane turned to Gareth Bale to add some extra dynamism to his attack. Zaza was aggrieved not to win a spot-kick of his own, having been barged aside by Dani Carvajal following an appalling piece of control from Varane, but Madrid's frustrations were nonetheless growing as Valencia broke up play by winning a number of cheap free-kicks. Zidane urged his players forward, but - despite several goalmouth scrambles in the closing stages - Madrid could not fashion any meaningful late chances to salvage a draw, meaning Barca - and under-fire Luis Enrique - can allow themselves a little more hope in the defence of their title.
- Cristiano Ronaldo made his 700th club appearance in Real Madrid's La Liga encounter with Valencia on Wednesday. The tie with struggling Los Che did not get off to a good start for Ronaldo and his team-mates, with Simone Zaza and Fabian Orellana putting the home side 2-0 up with...Cristiano Ronaldo made his 700th club appearance in Real Madrid's La Liga encounter with Valencia on Wednesday. The tie with struggling Los Che did not get off to a good start for Ronaldo and his team-mates, with Simone Zaza and Fabian Orellana putting the home side 2-0 up within 10 minutes. Ronaldo marked his milestone with a goal before the break, however, getting ahead of Eliaquim Mangala to meet a Marcelo cross with a powerful header that beat Diego Alves. The four-time Ballon d'Or winner's 700 games for Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United and Real span an incredible career. The Portugal star has been at the Santiago Bernabeu for almost eight years, during which time he has won one La Liga title and two apiece of the Copa del Rey, Champions League and Club World Cup. However, he arrived at the club already one of the best players in the world, having lifted the Premier League crown three times, as well as the Champions League and Club World Cup once each in six years at Man United.
- Moussa Dembele intends to snub Europe's biggest clubs and stay at Celtic for the duration of his four-year contract, according to his agent. RUMOURS: Rooney to quit Man Utd Real Madrid are the latest top side to have been linked with Dembele, who has scored 27 goals in all comp...Moussa Dembele intends to snub Europe's biggest clubs and stay at Celtic for the duration of his four-year contract, according to his agent. RUMOURS: Rooney to quit Man Utd Real Madrid are the latest top side to have been linked with Dembele, who has scored 27 goals in all competitions since joining from Fulham in June. However, Mamadi Fofana, the player's representative, insists the France youth international remains focused on Celtic. "Moussa doesn't stress," Fofana told The Daily Record. "He signed a four-year deal at Celtic and, in his head, he'll be at Celtic for those four years. "If he has to leave, that will happen at the right time, but it's not in Moussa's head nor my head. In January, there was speculation, but there will always be speculation if he does well. "It's good. It means we are all doing well. The boy is doing well, Celtic are doing well and we as agents are doing the right things for everyone – but it's so important to focus on the right things. "Moussa remains cool. He's not affected. I am not even thinking of the future. I don't wake up in the morning thinking where Moussa will go in the summer. The future does not exist. The past has gone. "It's about being a better player right now. The plan with [manager] Brendan [Rodgers] and the club and Moussa is private, but I can say it will remain the same and it stays the same." And Fofana believes that the move to Celtic has been beneficial for Dembele in his development. I would never force out Rooney - Mourinho "We are there for the boy to become a better player, for the club to achieve more things and the club wants to keep their best players," he continued. "If Celtic ever wants to sell Moussa, it will be a common decision which is taken between everyone. "But, at the moment, I can be no clearer in saying there is absolutely no discussion between me and Celtic about Moussa leaving in the summer or even next January. "We can't stop people from thinking or talking, but if people can't see the benefit of Moussa Dembele being at Celtic, there is nothing I can do about that."