Real Madrid vs. Real Valladolid Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

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Real Madrid vs. Real Valladolid Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction
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Gareth Bale scored his first hat-trick for Real Madrid as Los Blancos won comfortably 4-0 at home to Real Valladolid on Saturday in Spain's La Liga.

In addition to his goals, Bale assisted another for Madrid, who closed to within three points of leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid despite playing without injured superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

Bale, who joined Real Madrid in a world-record transfer over the summer, scored with his left foot, right foot and head to complete a "perfect" hat-trick. He has scored eight goals in his last seven appearances in all competitions, and seven in the league this season.

In comparison, Bale's former club, Tottenham Hotspur, have scored nine goals this season in the Premier League.

"As I mentioned before, Bale has fully adapted to the team," Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said, per @RealMadridEN. "He has a lot of confidence and is very important for us."

With the win, Madrid moved onto 37 points, three behind Atletico Madrid and Barcelona. Atletico won 2-0 at Elche on Saturday. Barcelona play Sunday at Athletic Bilbao.

Ronaldo, who remained sidelined with a thigh injury, was not the only absence for Madrid. Portuguese defender/winger Fabio Coentrao was not in the squad following the death of his father Saturday afternoon.  

Elsewhere, defender Sergio Ramos retained his place in central defence following his sending-off against Galatasaray in the UEFA Champions League midweek. Recent reports had suggested a rift between the defender and Ancelotti.

The hosts took the attack to Valladolid immediately. 

Sergio Ramos nearly scored the opener in the third minute, but his header was too high. Angel Di Maria then struck the crossbar in the sixth minute with a swerving, long-range shot, and Ramos headed over again five minutes later following Isco's cross. 

In the 13th minute, Di Maria picked out Karim Benzema with a cross to the back post, but Benzema's first-time shot was wide of the upright.

But for all of Madrid's attacking dominance in the first half, the hosts needed a slice of fortune for their first goal.

In the 33rd minute, Di Maria seemed to present little threat on Valladolid's goal when he took a shot from the left. But Diego Mariño spilled the ball directly into the path of Bale, who headed in powerfully for a 1-0 Madrid lead.

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Three minutes later, it was 2-0. This time, though, Bale was the provider.

Afforded too much time to pick apart Valladolid's defence, Bale crossed from the right and found Benzema making a run in front of goal. Unmarked, Benzema headed in to make it 2-0. 

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Madrid went into half-time leading by two goals and wielding complete control on the match. Bale scored his second—Madrid's third—in the 64th minute, tucking in a low finish after Jesus Rueda tipped Marcelo's cross into the Welshman's path.

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Substitute Alvaro Morata forced a save out of Mariño in the 82nd minute as Madrid continued their search for goals, but in the end, it was only Bale's day. The Welshman completed his hat-trick in the 89th, finishing a move that he started after trading passes with Marcelo on the left.

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In addition to Bale's offensive heroics, the hosts had plenty to like throughout the pitch. Ancelotti's team kept their fourth clean sheet in the league this season, out-shot Valladolid 26-9 (12-3 on target) and bossed the ball with 65 percent of possession.

Real Madrid Player Ratings vs. Real Valladolid
Player Rating
Diego Lopez 7
Daniel Carvajal 8
Pepe 8
Sergio Ramos 8
Marcelo 8
Luka Modric 8
Xabi Alonso 8
Gareth Bale 9.5
Isco 9
Angel Di Maria 8
Karim Benzema 7
Substitutes Rating
Jese 7
Alvaro Morata 6

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Real Valladolid Player Ratings vs. Real Madrid
Player Rating
Diego Mariño Villar 5
Marc Valiente 5
Jesus Rueda 5
Carlos Gonzalez Peña 5
Gilberto Garcia 5
Fausto Rossi 6
Lluis Sastre 6
Alvaro Rubio 6
Javi Guerra 6
Daniel Larsson 5
Zakara Bergdich 6
Substitutes Rating
Omar Ramos 6
Manucho 6
Osorio 6

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Up next

Real Madrid play at Olimpic in a fourth-round Copa del Rey match next Saturday. Los Blancos then play at FC Copenhagen in the UEFA Champions League on Dec. 10 before returning to league play with a trip to Osasuna on Dec. 14. 

Real Valladolid host Rayo Vallecano in the Copa del Rey on Friday before returning to league action Dec. 16 at home to Celta Vigo.

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