Cristiano Ronaldo scored two penalties this afternoon as off-form Real Madrid beat Valencia 4-1 at the Estadio Mestalla, helping to ease the pressure on manager, Zinedine Zidane. The penalties were the 100th and 101st of the Portuguese's career.
It was the first time in 4 visits to Valencia that the current La Liga Champions came away with three points, with Marcelo and Toni Kroos scoring the other two goals. Santi Mina made it 2-1 early in the second half, but what looked like a lifeline for Valencia ended up just being a consolation.
Zidane finds himself under increasing pressure, Real Madrid sit fourth in La Liga (two points behind today's opponents, with a game in hand) 16 points behind leaders Barca, they also crashed out of the Copa Del Rey on Wednesday night when they were shocked by Leganes and beaten 2-1.
It was the first time Leganes had ever beaten Los Blancos in both of their histories. The game ended 2-2 on aggregate, but the embarassing 2-1 home loss was enough to see Madrid off.
Ronaldo's brace and today's victory in general will offer a much needed respite for Zidane, who despite only being in charge for 2 years is the 4th most successful manager in Real Madrid's history. He is only one trophy off of his former boss Vincente Del Bosque's record and he has just won back to back Champions Leagues.
Their last chance for a trophy this year now would be an unprecedented third Champions League in a row with the small task of PSG up next in the last 16.
Despite today's victory though, Madrid were anything but convincing with the 4-1 win flattering the league champions. But obviously all that matters is the result and Madrid did enough to see it out, thus ending their longest run in the league without an away win since 2008.
However the clock is still ticking for Zidane who is left with his position pretty much unsaveable in many people's eyes and Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez is not exactly famous for his patience!