Madrid back on track

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REAL Madrid’s Lucas Vazquez celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Valencia at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain. AP

MADRID — Real Madrid has found some peace again after the humiliating loss to Eibar in the Spanish league.

In the second half, things changed because Valencia needed to equalize and took more risks

Madrid followed the 3-0 loss at Eibar with a 2-0 win over red-hot Valencia on Saturday.

The victory over Valencia, which had won three straight in the league, moved Madrid from sixth to fifth in the standings, three points behind leader Sevilla and two points behind second-place Barcelona.

Sevilla visits fourth-place Alaves on Sunday while Barcelona hosts Villarreal. Third-place Atletico Madrid, two points off the lead, visits Girona.

Valencia lost to Juventus, 1-0, in the Champions League on Tuesday, a result that ended its chances of advancing from the group stage. Madrid won over Roma, 2-0, to advance.

“We played well in Rome and again today,” coach Santiago Solari said. “Credit to the players.”

Playing at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium for the first time after four straight away games, Madrid was loudly cheered by fans after the match, despite a lackluster second half.

“I want us to play more like we did in the first half,” Solari said. “In the second half, things changed because Valencia needed to equalize and took more risks.”

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