Real Madrid dropped two vital points against Valencia CF as they salvaged a 2-2 yesterday. The away side surprisingly took a convincing two-goal lead in the first half itself. Paco Alcacer scored the opening goal of the match in the 19th minute and Javi Fuego increased the lead after 5 minutes. Pepe reduced the margin in the 56th minute and Isco came to rescue for Madrid as he scored the equaliser in the 84th minute.
Carlo Ancelotti fielded his team in a 4-3-3 formation so that they could pick up early goals. Javier Hernandez started as the front striker. Real Madrid looked dominant from the very beginning. They were unlucky not to go ahead in two occasions when Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Balea s shot hit the crossbar and came back.
Paco Alcacer broke the deadlock from a swift counter-attack. Jose Gaya ran down the left flank and curled a cross inside the penalty box. Paco received it and took a shot at the goal. Iker Casillas stood no chance.
Troubles increased after just five minutes as Javi Fuego doubled the lead for Valencia CF from a great free-kick from Parejo. Minutes later Real Madrid’s midfield marshal Toni Kroos left the field with a bad injury due to awkward landing. It was a big blow for Madrid who were down by 2 goals.
Cristiano Ronaldo got an opportunity to pull one back at the stroke of half time. Gareth Bale went down inside the penalty box and the referee immediately pointed towards the spot. Ronaldo missed the the penalty as Diego Alves anticipated the shot well and dived in the perfect direction.
Pepe then reduced the margin in the 56th minute. James Rodriguez took a corner and Pepe headed home for Madrid.
Just when it seemed that Madrid will lose all three points Isco hammered one goal from the right corner of the penalty box. It was a neat finish.
The game ended in a stalemate allowing league leaders FC Barcelona to be at the top of the table with four points clear. Real Madrida s job has become difficult now as they just have two games to go in this season.
After the game, Carlo Ancelotti admitted that Barcelona have the edge now in the title race. He opined, “This makes it much more difficult, but we will keep going. We have two games to play, will try and win both. But of course it is more difficult now.
“The result is not good, the game just the opposite. We played very well, had lots of chances, hit the post three times, missed a penalty. The team fought until the end, and deserved to win. The players’ reaction was very good, they all fought hard, worked together. This result does us damage, but sometimes this happens.”
But the Italian manager drew positives from this game and praised his team for a decent show. He believes that this kind of performance will help them in Champions League game against Juventus on Wednesday.
“We are all disappointed with this result,” he said. “But the players still have confidence due to how [the] team played. We gave everything we could. They know that if the play this way again on Wednesday, we can reach the final. We must have a positive attitude, see the good things we did in this game.”