Real Madrid needed a result this game to stay in contention for La Liga title as Barcelona had won their earlier game against Real Sociedad. But, they would not get the result they wanted against Catalonian side Valencia.
Real came out in the first half attacking Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves’ net and had some great chances early on in the game. A set piece from Gareth Bale struck the corner of the net and bounced away, and a header from Cristiano Ronaldo managed to hit the bottom part of the left post but caromed out of harm’s way.
A minute passed after Ronaldo’s chance and Paco Alcácer scored the game’s, and Valencia’s, first goal on the counterattack. José Gayá ran down the left side of the touchline and fed a slick cross to Alcácer who outstretched his leg and beat Pepe, and Iker Casillas, to the ball for the 1-0 Valencia lead.
Things went from bad to worse for Real as in the 26th minute Toni Kroos left the game with an injury to his upper thigh and in the same minute Valencia scored their second goal from a set piece. Dani Parejo fed a cross into the box that an unmarked Javi Fuego powerfully headed in to beat Casillas to his left-hand side to increase their lead 2-0.
Real Madrid had most of the possession in their favor in the opening half, but had the misfortune of hitting their third post of the half this time from a “Chicharito” Hernández opportunity that saw him with a clear shot on goal.
Right before the halftime whistle Real Madrid had a great chance to diminish the Valencia lead when Gayá brought down Gareth Bale in the penalty area. On the ensuing penalty kick, goalkeeper Diego Alves blocked Ronaldo’s attempt to keep the lead at two for Los Murciélagos.
Carlo Ancelotti made all of his adjustments at the half as Marcelo and Carvajal entered the game and right away Madrid played better defensively, something that they desperately needed. Real’s changes paid dividends as in the 56th minute, finally the home side was able to beat Alves with a header by Pepe that found the back of the net to make it a one-goal deficit for Los Merengues.
Right when things looked bleak in the closing moments of the game, Madrid found the equalizer in the 84th minute as Isco delivered a beautifully curled ball that beat Alves in the top left corner for the 2-2 scoreline. Real desperately tried to get the winning goal in the last five minutes of the game, but the final whistle blew and the match ended in a 2-2 draw.
While not a favorable result for Real Madrid, they still technically have a chance of winning the title provided they can win their remaining two games and they get some help from Atlético de Madrid and La Coruña, Barcelona’s next two opponents. But, if Barcelona wins their game against Atlético then Barcelona will become champions.
However, with the recent announcement that the Spanish FA is suspending the rest of the season due to disputes about the recent proposed television deal for La Liga, we will have to wait and see if the Spanish FA will recommence the league and declare a champion.