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Reaction: Real Madrid 2 - 2 Valencia

Six things we saw.

Denis Doyle/Getty Images
  1. Isco stepped up. I was half-way through typing how disappointing Isco was today - how he was invisible when the team really needed him. Then out of nothing, he rose like a Phoenix and scored one of the goals of the season. To curl the ball like that in the opposite way you're facing with a defender in front of you ranks at about a 7.5 on the difficulty scale. He also played with purpose after that goal. It all comes down to confidence.
  2. Gareth Bale was one of the best players on the pitch today - particularly in the first half. There isn't a player in World Football who has a shot with such a perfect blend of accuracy and power like he does. It's a shame he doesn't get to use it more often as opposing defenses know to close the gaps. Is it time to let him take free-kicks from the left side too? It would never happen so long as King CR is on the pitch, but it's an interesting thought. Amidst all his good work, after a couple misplaced kicks, leave it to the Bernabeu to throw out some whistles.
  3. Cristiano was disappointing today. Since when is a stutter-step a good idea in a penalty kick when it leads you to a full stop? Somewhere in the 80th minute, Cristiano Ronaldo - with no one around him - failed to clear a ball with his head outside the corner of the area, and instead of running back to stop the ensuing wave of attack from Valencia, he just stood there and shook his head.
  4. This was an interesting result because even when 2-0 down, Real Madrid were actually playing well. Ancelotti has a lot of sorting out to do for this week's massive clash. Toni Kroos is fine and should be back, but Ancelotti can't play him as the DM again without Modric there to help him recover the midfield. Illara or Ramos? One is terrified to make a pass more than 2 feet in front of him, and the other looked like Gravesen against Sevilla. Tough call.
  5. Another obligatory 'respect for Chica' point. He again played well and was made to please the Bernabeu. If only his skill-set matched his work ethic and passion. You almost feel at times he will impose his spirit and lead Real to a victory when he's on the pitch.
  6. I didn't see a foul anywhere on that last play. Mind you I didn't see a great angle on the replay. Was it Pepe or Ramos? Either way, seemed like a pity call for Valencia.

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