Liga – Real Madrid all but concede title to Barcelona after draw
La Liga, Santiago Bernabeu – Real Madrid 2 (Pepe56′, Isco 84′) Valencia 2 (Alcacer 19′, Fuego 26′).
Real Madrid have all but conceded the Liga title toBarcelona despite staging a comeback from two goals down to claim a 2-2 draw against Valencia at the Bernabau.
With the Catalans claiming a comfortable 2-0 win over David Moyes’ Real Sociedad earlier in the day, Real Madrid needed a win against Champions League-chasing Valencia to stay in touch with the Liga leaders.
However, by claiming only a point Carlo Ancelotti’s side are now four points adrift of Barca with just two games of the league season left to play – assuming those games are actually played in light of the strike which will take effect next week.
Valencia took a shock lead against the run of play after 19 minutes through Paco Alcacer, who turned home Jose Luis Gaya’s cross from close range – despite the visitors coming under intense pressure in the opening exchanges.
And the away team doubled their advance just seven minutes later, when Javi Fuego ghosted in to make the most of slack Real Madrid defending from a freekick and head home past a helpless Iker Casillas.
But the hosts were afforded a lifeline before the break, when Gareth Bale was brought down in the box by Gaya – only for Ronaldo to have his penalty kick saved by the impressive Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves.
However, Real Madrid did half the deficit in the second half, with Pepe climbing highest from a set piece to power a header past Alves and reenergise the home crowd, who had been whistling their discontent until that point.
Isco netted a stunning 25-yard equaliser with just six minutes remaining, giving Real Madrid a chance of completing the comeback – but Valencia held on for a point to all but hand Barcelona the title.