Valencia have announced the death of club icon Juan Cruz Sol at the age of 73.

Sol played close to 400 games across two spells with Valencia between 1965 and 1981 and has more recently been a club ambassador and a member of the board of directors.

Valencia confirmed the news on their official website on Tuesday and said in a statement: "Juan Cruz Sol leaves behind an indelible mark on Valencia's history, and will be much missed by all who knew him.

"The club offer our deepest condolences to his family and friends. Rest in peace."

During his 12 years with Valencia, Sol won the European Cup Winners' Cup, European Super Cup, one Spanish top-flight title and the Spanish Cup.

He also spent five seasons with Real Madrid, winning four league titles, and was capped 28 times by Spain in the 1970s.

A statement from Los Blancos read: "Real Madrid would like to send their condolences and warmest regards to his wife Paola and his two daughters, to all his relatives and loved ones, as well as to Valencia C.F., the club where he was the social ambassador in the board of directors, and to all their fans."

Antoine Griezmann has struggled at Barcelona due to the "reign of terror" presided over by Lionel Messi, according to the France star's former advisor.

Griezmann, a €120million signing from Atletico Madrid last year, has found it difficult to hit top form alongside Messi at Camp Nou.

The forward, who missed a penalty against Real Betis last week before scoring in Barca's 5-2 victory, has just two goals, one assist and four chances created to his name in seven LaLiga appearances this season.

Griezmann has previously insisted there are no problems between him and Messi but Eric Olhats, the player's former representative, feels it is telling that the six-time Ballon d'Or winner does not say the same in public.

Speaking to France Football, Olhats even suggested Messi would try neither to speak nor pass to Griezmann when he first joined Barca.

"Antoine arrived at a club where Messi has the final word on everything," he said. "He is as much an emperor as a monarch and he didn't take kindly to the signing of Antoine.

"His attitude has been deplorable and he made him feel unwelcome. I've always disliked hearing Griezmann say that there are no issues with Messi but never the other way around. It's a reign of terror. You're either with him or against him.

"Griezmann is only going to try and solve his problems on the pitch, nothing more. He is never going to look to get into a conflict with anyone. He's not like that at all. And it's not that he lacks personality. He loves football and that's it, he doesn't want to get into arguments with anybody. I've seen him overcome so many difficult moments in his career.

"Last season, when Griezmann arrived, Messi didn't speak to him and didn't pass him the ball. I think he suffered because of a negative adaptation."

Messi came off the bench to lead Barca to victory against Betis, scoring twice and playing a key role in Griezmann's goal when his dummy allowed Jordi Alba's cross to reach his team-mate.

The pair exchanged only four passes in the second half, with Messi mostly combining with Sergi Roberto (15 passes) and Sergio Busquets (19 passes).

Piotr Zielinski is an extraordinary player who should be playing for Real Madrid or Barcelona, according to Pepe Reina.

Napoli midfielder Zielinski has thrived for the Partenopei since joining from Empoli in 2016.

Only forwards Jose Callejon (63) and Lorenzo Insigne (86) created more chances in Serie A last season for the club than Zielinski (53), while he completed more passes than any team-mate except for Fabian Ruiz and Giovanni Di Lorenzo.

Toni Kroos (60) was the only midfielder for Barca or Madrid in 2019-20 who created more goalscoring opportunities than the Poland international.

Reina, a team-mate of Zielinski for two years in Naples, has no doubt the player is good enough for one Spain's biggest two clubs.

"I have a crush on Zielinski!" he told Cadena SER. "He's a Real Madrid or Barcelona player. He is out of the ordinary."

Reina, who was on loan at Aston Villa from Milan last season, is now with Lazio as he continues a senior career in football spanning 20 years.

The 38-year-old thinks Manchester United's David de Gea is presently the best option for Luis Enrique's Spain side, but he believes there is an unfair prejudice towards older players compared to the attitude in Italy.

"The one with the most playing consistency is De Gea and it has to be that way, for me," Reina said.

"Luis Enrique has a choice of young goalkeepers or more expert, 38-year-old goalkeepers.

"David has experience that will for sure make him the most prepared. Kepa [Arrizabalaga] is going through a worse time due to the signing of Mendy. There's also [Sergio] Asenjo, [Fernando] Pacheco... there are a lot of names.

"The culture in Spain is that a 38-year-old player is seen as much older than he is in Italy. Here, respect is different. In Spain, they see you as an older player."

Luis Suarez fits like a glove and even Lionel Messi and former star Antoine Griezmann would face competition for places at high-flying Atletico Madrid, says Koke.

Uruguay striker Suarez was deemed surplus to requirements by new Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman and, despite being third on the Blaugrana's all-time goalscorers list, joined Atleti for a nominal fee.

From six LaLiga appearances, Suarez has five goals and one assist for his new club, while he has created four chances for his team-mates and hit the target with eight of his 22 shots at goal (including blocked shots).

It is form that has helped unbeaten Atleti to third in the table with two games in hand on the two sides above them in the table.

Atleti midfielder Koke says Suarez's arrival has allowed others in the team, such as Joao Felix, Angel Correa and Marcos Llorente, to flourish.

"A radical change has hit us in [our] game," he told Cadena Ser. "[Having Suarez] leaves Joao, Correa and Llorente free in some situations. He has fit us like a glove."

One player Suarez has had limited playing time with is Diego Costa, with his fellow Atleti forward out with a left thigh injury sustained last month.

Asked about that link-up, Koke added: "They are two great forwards and they have to adapt together. The team is playing well and has more solutions in attack."

While Atleti's current attacking crop are flourishing, Griezmann – who departed for Camp Nou ahead of the 2019-20 campaign – has struggled to find his best form for Barca.

In seven top-flight appearances this season, Griezmann has two goals and an assist and created four chances, while he missed a penalty in the 5-2 win over Real Betis last week.

The last time Barca faced Atleti in June, it took until the 90th minute for Griezmann to enter the fray despite the game being locked at 2-2 – something that took Koke by surprise.

"I was very surprised to see a player of the stature of Griezmann [not play until] the 90th minute in the last duel in which we faced Barca," Koke said.

But when asked about the potential for a Griezmann return, Koke added: "I think now he would have a lot of competition here."

Indeed, such is the strength of Atleti's forward line, Koke believes even superstar Messi – whose himself failed to engineer a move away from Barca in a long-running sage during the close season – would find it difficult to get into the team.

"He would also have a lot of competition at Atleti," Koke added.

Koke is particularly delighted to see Llorente beginning to flourish at Atleti, with the 25-year-old excelling in a more advanced role, scoring three goals and assisting two more this term.

"He does everything. He is at a spectacular level. The work pays off and he works [hard]," Koke said. 

"I'm happy for him because at first he didn't have a good time by not playing, but all work has its reward. Those that last year had fewer minutes have more this season."

Cristiano Ronaldo's time at Juventus could be coming to an end.

Ronaldo arrived at the Serie A champions from Real Madrid in 2018 and is contracted at Juve until 2022.

However, Juventus could have other plans for the star forward.

 

TOP STORY – JUVENTUS CONSIDER RONALDO SALE

Juventus are considering selling Ronaldo next year, according to Sport.

The report says Juve are opting against renewing the 35-year-old's big-money contract and may instead try to recoup some of the €100million they paid for Ronaldo.

Ronaldo has scored six goals in four Serie A games this season, but Juve are fifth in the table.

His shot conversion rate excluding blocks (35.3) and big chance conversion percentage (71.4) are both well up on his previous seasons in Serie A, although it is still early in the 2020-21 campaign.

 

ROUND-UP

- Zinedine Zidane is again under pressure at Real Madrid. Sport reports Madrid president Florentino Perez is already doubting the Madrid coach, with his team fourth in LaLiga after being humbled 4-1 by Valencia on Sunday. Madrid have also won just one of their opening three Group B games in the Champions League.

- With his contract expiring at the end of the season, David Alaba looks set to leave Bayern Munich. 90min reports the defender is open to a move to the Premier League amid apparent interest from Liverpool and Manchester City.

- Ousmane Dembele's future at Barcelona is uncertain. The LaLiga giants are prepared to sell the forward as soon as January, according to Sport, with Manchester United among the clubs previously credited with an interest in the 23-year-old.

- Staying at Manchester United and ESPN reports the Premier League giants are considering sending goalkeeper Dean Henderson out on loan again. It means United are delaying a decision on Sergio Romero's future, with the shot-stopper reportedly eager to leave on a free in January.

- A free agent, Mario Mandzukic is attracting interest from LaLiga club Celta Vigo, according to El Partidazo de COPE. Celta Vigo have scored just six goals in nine league games this season, sitting just a point above the relegation zone.

Spain defender Hector Bellerin struggled to accept being out of international football for such a long time.

The Arsenal right-back was called up to Spain's squad for the first time in four years after Sevilla's Jesus Navas was ruled out through injury.

He won the last of his three caps for La Roja in a friendly against Georgia in July 2016 and, although he made Spain's squad for Euro 2016, he did not feature at the tournament.

Bellerin, however, was given a recall by coach Luis Enrique for his side's friendly with the Netherlands plus the Nations League fixtures against Switzerland and Germany.

The 25-year-old has been one of Arsenal's most consistent performers this season and played every minute of their eight Premier League games.

He has made 12 interceptions and eight tackles with a success rate of 88 per cent in those matches, helping the Gunners to keep two clean sheets.

"Yes, I am so happy getting back home. It has been almost five years since the last time, so I am very happy," Bellerin said in an interview with the Royal Spanish Football Federation.

"They have been tough years, and they always are when you cannot join the national team, but I am very proud and happy now. I can't wait to start."

Another player thrilled to be recalled by Luis Enrique after a break is Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke, who last featured for Spain just over two years ago.

Koke, 28, has not featured for Spain since a 4-1 friendly defeat of Wales in October 2018.

"I am very happy to be here again with the national team," Koke explained.

"It has been a long time, but I do have the same excitement that I had on my first day and I am looking forward to helping the team win the games."

Spain are top of Nations League Group A4 with seven points but saw their 13-game unbeaten run (W10 D3) in competitive matches ended last time out with a surprise 1-0 loss to Ukraine.

Left-back Jose Luis Gaya has warned his team-mates not to let any complacency seep into their forthcoming performances.

"It is true we are still first, and that gives us a little advantage. But we know how football is and everything can happen," added the Valencia defender.

"We need to try on winning all the games, that's what this jersey demands.

"Therefore, we cannot get relaxed and we have to face two official games plus the friendly one as they were finals."

Barcelona have confirmed Ansu Fati will be out for approximately four months after surgery on a tear to the internal meniscus of his left knee.

The 18-year-old was forced off at the halfway point of Barca's 5-2 win over Real Betis on Saturday, with the club later revealing the extent of the damage he suffered.

A Barca statement confirmed Fati was to be operated on by knee specialist Dr. Ramon Cugat, and the surgery was completed on Monday.

Following the completion of the procedure, the Catalans communicated that they expect the youngster to be out until March.

"The first-team player Ansu Fati has been operated on successfully by Dr. Ramon Cugat for the injury to the internal meniscus of his left knee under the supervision of the club's medical staff. The player will be out for approximately four months," a statement read.

At the time of the injury, Fati was joint-second top-scorer in LaLiga with four goals, while none of his Barca team-mates had netted more.

A regular squad member last season following an explosive introduction to top-flight football as a 16-year-old under Ernesto Valverde, Fati had seemingly taken on a role of greater prominence and importance in 2020-21.

New coach Ronald Koeman had essentially made Fati an automatic pick for his starting XI, the player beginning all seven of their LaLiga games this term.

Only Lionel Messi (48) has attempted more dribbles in LaLiga for Barca in 2020-21 than Fati (28), while the club captain is the solitary Blaugrana player to create more chances (13) than his team-mate's return of nine.

Fati had been called up to the Spain squad for this month's international matches against the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany.

Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde is set for a spell on the sidelines after the club confirmed he has suffered a fracture in his right leg.

Valverde featured in Madrid's 4-1 defeat to Valencia in LaLiga on Sunday before he was replaced by Toni Kroos in the 76th minute.

A medical bulletin issued by Madrid on Monday did not give an indication of when head coach Zinedine Zidane expected to have the player available again.

The statement said: "Following tests carried out on our player, Federico Valverde, by Real Madrid medical services, he has been diagnosed with a fracture in the posterior tibial bone in his right leg.

"His recovery will continue to be assessed."

However, the 22-year-old Uruguay international is set to miss his country's forthcoming World Cup qualifiers with Colombia on November 13 and against Brazil four days later.

Valverde has made 11 appearances for Madrid in all competitions this season and scored three goals.

Madrid's next game is away to Villarreal in LaLiga on November 21.

Memphis Depay has told Lyon to make the most of him while they can as he is unsure if he will still be at the club after January amid persistent links with Barcelona.

Barca boss Ronald Koeman has made no secret of his desire to sign Depay, with whom he worked as head coach of the Netherlands national side.

A deal failed to materialise late in the recent transfer window, despite the 26-year-old agreeing personal terms with Barca, but a fresh approach is expected in the new year.

Depay is out of contract at the end of 2020-21 and says he cannot guarantee he will even see out the remainder of the campaign at the Groupama Stadium.

"You ask me about this a lot. But I'm not going to make promises that I'm not sure I can keep," he told Telefoot when asked if he will swap clubs in January.

"I think Lyon has to take advantage of my presence here now. And I have to take advantage of being here.

"That's what I try to do every day. You can ask those around me: I like to train, and I try to be positive every day."

Depay was involved in Lyon's 2-1 win over bitter rivals Saint-Etienne on Sunday, a win that lifted Rudi Garcia's side up to fifth in Ligue 1 with 10 games played.

The forward has featured in each of those matches, scoring five times and setting up three more.

Since joining Lyon from Manchester United in January 2017, Depay has been directly involved in 83 Ligue 1 goals in 111 appearances, putting him level with Edinson Cavani - who played in 26 fewer games - and behind only Kylian Mbappe (110 goal involvements in 100 matches).

For comparison, Luis Suarez scored and assisted a combined 112 goals in 112 appearances for Barcelona over the same time frame, while Lionel Messi is way out in front with 173 goal involvements in 129 matches.

Speaking earlier this week, Depay hinted he is frustrated at Lyon as his side already trail leaders Paris Saint-Germain by seven points.

"The title should be our aim," he said. "Even if I cannot say everything going through my head right now, in terms of what's happening, what I am seeing at the club, there are things that I honestly can't say."

Oscar Garcia has been sacked by LaLiga strugglers Celta Vigo after just nine games of the season.

Celta are just one place and one point above the drop zone having managed a solitary victory in Spain's top flight in 2020-21.

A 1-1 draw at Elche proved to be Oscar's last game in charge, bringing an end to a year-long stay for the 47-year-old at Celta.

"Oscar Garcia Junyent and his coaching staff will no longer coach RC Celta," a club statement read.

"The club conveys its sincere gratitude, both to the Catalan coach and to his team, for the work, professionalism and effort they've shown throughout their time at RC Celta, in which they managed to consolidate LaLiga status during a complicated 2019-20 season.

"RC Celta wishes Oscar Garcia and his assistants the best of success in the future, both professionally and personally."

Oscar took over 12 months ago with Celta in the bottom three and managed to secure their status in LaLiga despite failing to win any of the last seven matches in 2019-20.

A nomadic coaching career has seen Oscar have stints at Maccabi Tel Aviv (twice), Brighton and Hove Albion, Watford, Salzburg, Saint-Etienne and Olympiacos.

Thibaut Courtois questioned the use of VAR in Real Madrid's heavy loss to Valencia and claimed opposition forward Maxi Gomez bought his side one of their penalties by "screaming".

Carlos Soler scored a hat-trick of spot-kicks in Valencia's surprise 4-1 win at Mestalla as Madrid conceded four goals in a LaLiga match for the first time under Zinedine Zidane.

Lucas Vazquez and Sergio Ramos were penalised for handling the ball inside the box, either side of Marcelo being punished for bringing down Gomez.

Courtois kept out the first penalty before it was retaken because of encroachment and was also beaten by a Raphael Varane own goal in Sunday's clash.

Soler is the first player to score three penalties in a single LaLiga game this century, but Courtois claimed Madrid were hard done by, particularly with the second spot-kick.

"Maxi screams more, and the way VAR gives penalties..." he said. "We had three penalties against, and the second goal was bad luck.

"I think we started well. Sometimes it happens to us that we don't move up the pitch together and we get caught out a little at the back, but [Valencia] haven't created chances.

"The first penalty is a penalty – it's bad luck. I don't know why it was retaken. The second goal is also bad luck. At half-time we were motivated to turn it around.

"As soon as I started, I make a save that goes onto the post and then two penalties."

There was also some controversy surrounding Valencia's second goal as a lengthy VAR check was needed to check for a possible Denis Cheryshev foul on Marco Asensio.

"There was a foul on Asensio in the build-up," Courtois said. "I heard him say it in the changing room, but you can't change anything there."

Madrid's defeat was their second in four league games, the other coming against newly promoted Cadiz, but Courtois reiterated that it was down to bad luck more than anything.

"We had chances to score, but the ball did not want to go in," he said. "We have to show the unity we did just after quarantine when we were barely letting in goals.

"There are some players who were not available for us but those who played have done well. Now is a good time to leave this game behind. Difficult games are coming."

Vazquez, who made more tackles (four) and clearances (three) than any Madrid player, acknowledged the importance of learning from the humbling defeat.

"It was a tough game and we've got to improve," said the makeshift right-back. "As a team, we came into the game on the back of several pretty good performances in which we performed to our best.

"This game was tough. We just weren't at it. We'll have to analyse it, learn from it and improve.

"It'll be a really interesting, open and hard-fought LaLiga season. Let's hope that we can ultimately take the title."

Neymar has tried, without success, to return to former club Barcelona in previous transfer windows.

The Brazil forward wanted to reunite with Lionel Messi.

Now, it seems Neymar is content in the French capital.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR HAPPY IN PARIS

Neymar wants to sign a new deal with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, according to Telefoot.

PSG superstar Neymar has long been linked with a return to Barcelona after leaving Camp Nou in a world-record Є222million transfer in 2017.

But Neymar – contracted until 2022 – is reportedly happy in Paris and is prepared to prolong his stay.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United star Paul Pogba has emerged as Real Madrid's alternative to Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga, reports Diario AS. Camavinga tops Madrid's midfield wish list following his exploits for Rennes and France. But with his transfer value continuing to rise, Madrid could turn to Pogba, who is reportedly available for €60m (£54m) in 2021. Camavinga has also been linked to PSG and United, while Pogba is reportedly being eyed by former club Juventus.

- Calciomercato claims PSG have joined Barca and Juve in the race to sign Ajax star Ryan Gravenberch.

Bruno Fernandes could leave United if the Premier League giants continue to struggle for consistency, reports Fichajes.net. Madrid, Barca, Juve and Bayern Munich have been credited with interest in the Portugal international.

- Gazzetta dello Sport says Inter are eyeing Udinese star Rodrigo de Paul, who was previously linked with Leeds United.

Juve are interested in Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli, according to Tuttosport. Sassuolo will not sell the former Milan sensation for less than €40m.

Benfica star Darwin Nunez will remain at the Portuguese giants until at least 2022 amid links to Barcelona, according to his agent Edgardo Lasalvia.

Nunez became Benfica's most expensive signing when he arrived from Almeria in a €24million deal in September, and he has already caught the attention of LaLiga powerhouse Barca.

The 21-year-old forward opened his account with a hat-trick in the Europa League last month, while the Uruguay international has netted five goals across all competitions.

Juventus have also been linked to Nunez and when asked about the Benfica forward's future, Lasalvia said via Sport: "Darwin will remain at Benfica at least until 2022."

Benfica head coach Jorge Jesus has tipped Nunez to surpass Joao Felix as the club's most expensive sale.

Joao Felix left Benfica for Atletico Madrid for a club-record €126m last year.

"We got it right. We must not forget that he is a kid, he is 21 years old, there is a lot about the game that he does not know yet. He will learn with me and Benfica," Jesus told SportTV.

"All this decision-making ability, finishing and speed… He was Benfica's most expensive purchase, and when there is no pandemic, he will be the most expensive sale. He will be a world-class player.

"Unfortunately for me, maybe I will lose him in a short time."

Benfica suffered back-to-back Primeira Liga defeats following Sunday's surprise 3-2 loss at home to Braga.

The result has left Benfica four points adrift of leaders and rivals Sporting CP.

Zinedine Zidane took full responsibility for a dreadful defeat to Valencia on Sunday as Real Madrid conceded four goals in a LaLiga match for the first time under their title-winning coach.

Valencia ran out 4-1 winners at Mestalla after Carlos Soler became the first player to score a hat-trick of penalties in a single LaLiga game in the 21st century.

Soler's treble – the first from a Valencia player in the top flight since September 2017 – was added to by an own goal from Raphael Varane, who deflected Maxi Gomez's cross beyond Thibaut Courtois. Madrid's goalkeeper had initially saved Valencia's first penalty, which was retaken due to an infringement from Yunus Musah.

Madrid started brightly and led through Karim Benzema's brilliant opener but conceded four goals in a league match for the first time since a 5-1 defeat to Barcelona in October 2018 – the result which cost Julen Lopetegui his job.

Zidane, who Lopetegui replaced, accepted the blame for this Madrid display, acknowledging they must solve their defensive problems having conceded 14 goals in seven games in all competitions since returning from October's international break.

"Three penalties, an own goal, it's too much," said Zidane, whose side are fourth, four points behind leaders Real Sociedad.

"The fault is mine because I am the coach and I have to find the solution. I can't justify what happened. It's a bad day, there are no excuses. We must improve defensively.

"I don't think Valencia have been tactically better than us. The only thing is that we started well and everything changed after the goal. 

"This is difficult to understand. But yes, the maximum responsibility is mine. We must find solutions after the goal they scored."

While Madrid's defence endured a collective nightmare, with Varane scoring his second own goal in the space of five appearances in all competitions, playmaker Isco was equally disappointing at the other end.

Starting for the first time in LaLiga since October 17 – when Madrid lost 1-0 to Cadiz – the 28-year-old had just one shot and created only a single chance before he was taken off in the 83rd minute. Isco has played a meagre two key passes all season.

Zidane defended the player, however, saying: "Isco has tried, he has done well like everyone else. In the end, everyone loses, there is not just one guilty party."

Madrid were without holding midfielder Casemiro who, like Eden Hazard, is isolating after testing positive for coronavirus.

The champions have won just one of the six LaLiga fixtures in which Casemiro has not started since the start of last season, but Zidane insisted the Brazilian's absence was no excuse.

"We can look for a thousand things – you don't have to look for excuses," he said. "They are all Madrid players."

Carlos Soler scored a hat-trick of penalties as Valencia ended a four-match winless run in LaLiga with a 4-1 rout of Real Madrid at Mestalla.

Soler's penalties – the first of which had to be re-taken due to an infringement by Yunus Musah – were added to by Raphael Varane's own goal as Valencia came from behind in a frantic encounter.

Karim Benzema, who has now scored more LaLiga goals than any other player since the resumption in June, opened the scoring with a thunderous strike – his fifth goal in his last four top-flight meetings with Valencia.

But Benzema's brilliance was not enough to inspire Zinedine Zidane's defensively suspect side, whose misery was compounded when Sergio Ramos handled to concede a third spot-kick, which Soler duly converted to condemn Madrid to a second LaLiga defeat of 2020-21.

Madrid struck first – Benzema catching out Jaume Domenech with a thumping 23rd-minute strike – but Lucas Vazquez's handball handed Valencia an opportunity to equalise.

Yet the hosts did so the hard way. After Soler saw his penalty saved and hit the post on the rebound, Musah slammed home, only for it to be disallowed after VAR spotted the 17-year-old had encroached into the area.

Referee Jesus Gil Manzano ordered the penalty to be re-taken and, although Thibaut Courtois again guessed the right way, Soler beat Madrid's goalkeeper at the second time of asking.

More drama followed as Valencia took the lead before half-time – Varane inadvertently looping Maxi Gomez's cross over Courtois, who failed to stop the ball from crossing the line.

However, it was only given after a long VAR check, which also deemed Denis Cheryshev not to have fouled Marco Asensio in the build-up.

Courtois made a fantastic save straight after the restart, tipping Lee Kang-In's strike onto the upright, but he was soon picking the ball out of his net again.

Marcelo scythed down Gomez, and Soler stepped up to convert into the bottom-right corner.

A remarkable hat-trick, and a brilliant Valencia victory, was rounded off in the 63rd minute – Soler picking out the same corner after had Ramos hit the ball away from Musah.

 

What does it mean? Gracia ends Madrid hoodoo

At the seventh attempt, Valencia coach Javi Gracia has managed his first LaLiga win over Madrid, and the triumph takes Valencia up to ninth, level on 11 points with Barcelona.

They are five behind Madrid, who sit fourth, four points off pacesetters Real Sociedad heading into the international break. Zidane also lost Benzema to what appeared to be a groin problem late on.

Soler into LaLiga's record books

Soler's first attempt from 12 yards was poor, but the following three were all dispatched with supreme confidence. In scoring a hat-trick of spot-kicks, the 23-year-old became the first player to score three penalties in a single LaLiga match in the 21st century, and he has been directly involved in five goals in his last three meetings with Madrid at Mestalla.

Varane's bad luck strikes again

While Madrid's entire defence must shoulder the blame, one man in particular stands out. Varane's attempted clearance from Gomez's cross which resulted in Valencia's second goal was a dreadful one, and the France international has now scored two own goals in his last five games for Madrid in all competitions, as many as he had in his previous 324 matches.

What's next?

Madrid travel to Villarreal in their first fixture back after the international break, while Valencia take on Deportivo Alaves a day later.

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