Just when we thought La Liga was pretty much over, Levante delivers the upset beating Atlético de Madrid and all of a sudden, there's hope for Real Madrid. To make that loss count though, Real Madrid had to beat Valencia first (and Valladolid next week).
Real Madrid dominated during the first 15 minutes of the game. Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema had chances to score, including a one-on-one chance against Diego Alves by CR7, but luck wasn't on Madrid's side early.
While Valencia was focused on defending and taking advantage of the counter attack, that didn't keep them from creating danger as Diego López had to make a tremendous save near the 16th minute on a header by Parejo. The following 10 minutes were Valencia's best, mainly because those were Madrid's worst. The orange team started to possess the ball more while Real Madrid started to look a bit dull and without any clear offensive ideas.
At the 25th, Diego Alves denied Cristiano Ronaldo on consecutive plays. While los Blancos had created a lot of chances, that final play was a big problem. Poor crosses or poor choices or Valencia's GK kept the score 0-0.
Five minutes before halftime, Ronaldo had another great chance on a shot from outside the box but Alves made another fantastic save. Diego López had to save Madrid too a couple minutes later, but on the following corner kick, Valencia took a 0-1 lead. Big mistakes on the play by both Varane and López.
For the second half, Ancelotti replaced Asier Illarramendi, who didn't have a good first half, with Ángel Di María.
The first great chance of the second half was for Valencia, on a header by Alcácer but Diego López made yet another save.
Real Madrid was now relying on long shots, including a great attempt by Isco, but his shot went a bit wide. Moments later, Ronaldo found a rebound inside the box, took the shot but Alves made one more save. Valencia's GK was now looking like the man of the match.
At the 58th, Sergio Ramos, the hero against Bayern, scored with another header to make it 1-1 after a great assist by Ronaldo. Unfortunately, the joy didn't last as Valencia made this match a lot wilder at the 64th, when Parejo made it 1-2.
As intense as Real Madrid was playing, they still had a very shaky defense. Marcelo wasn't playing well, forcing both Alonso and Ramos to help cover that left side. Pizzi's men were solid on defense and their counters were also getting more and more dangerous. For that reason, Ancelotti decided to replace Isco with Casemiro.
At the 77th, Alves made one great save on a free kick shot by Ronaldo. Now Real Madrid's players were looking extremely frustrated as both Diego Alves and time were looking like too much to overcome. As a final substitution, Carlo Ancelotti decided to replace Benzema with Álvaro Morata.
The final minutes of the game were extremely frustrating. The ref was also a big problem for Madrid. He didn't call a clear penalty after Cristiano was practically tackled inside the box.
Los Merengues found some hope at the 92nd minute thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo, who pulled a ridiculous shot to make it 2-2 but it was already too late. Both Ronaldo and Morata had a chance to take the win but it wasn't meant to happen.
Extremely disappointing performance from our Merengues, who keep wasting chances to compete for La Liga. When they get any help from the other teams, this is what happens. It's just unbelievable.
Diego Alves was huge for Valencia, but players like Isco, Bale, Benzema or Marcelo weren't good enough when they were needed. No one provided any idea on how to create meaningful chances. Ronaldo tried and he gets a pass for his brilliant goal, but he missed a lot of chances too, especially that wasted opportunity early in the first half. As good as he was against Bayern, Ancelotti will surely be criticized after this loss.
The way the match went down, you could say the 2-2 isn't a terrible result but this was a must-win. They fought, but this is still a massive disappointment. This team simply looks like they don't deserve to win La Liga.
Real Madrid now need to win every match and Atlético to lose at least one of their two remaining games.