Real Madrid held by Valencia, Barca close in on La Liga tittle
Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves produced a heroic performance to give his side a 2-2 draw away to Real Madrid, virtually assuring FC Barcelona of the La Liga title.
Alves produced a string of magnificent saves to deny victory to Real Madrid, who showed great personality in coming back from 0-2 down at half time to force a 2-2 draw on Saturday, reports Xinhua.
However, that draw means they are now four points behind Barcelona with just two games to play this season and that one more win for Barcelona will assure them the title.
The first half in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium produced 45 minutes of sparking football, which saw Real Madrid hit the frame of the goal thrice against their rivals.
Gareth Bale’s free kick and Cristiano Ronaldo’s header rebounded off the crossbar. And it was Valencia who went ahead a minute later when Paco Alcacer was on hand to score from a Jose Gaya cross from the edge of the six yard box.Madrid then lost Tony Kroos to injury but substitute Asier Illaramendi had literally only just got on the pitch when Javi Fuego’s header doubled their lead.
Javier Hernandez hit the post again for Real Madrid 10 minutes from the break, but the best chance for the home side came in injury time when Ronaldo’s penalty was saved by Alves, who earlier made a magnificent stop to deny Bale.
The second half saw more of the same with Alves twice denying Hernandez, although he was helpless to keep Pepe’s 55th minute header out.
Madrid pressed forward, looking for the two goals they needed, but Valencia soaked up the pressure, with Alves stopping everything until Isco beat him with a magnificent 25 yard shot in the 85th minute.
Madrid pressed for the winner during the five additonal minutes of injury time but Valencia dourly held on.