REAL MADRID 2-2 VALENCIA
Goals: Ramos (59'), Ronaldo (90'); Mathieu (43'), Parejo (65')
A late, brilliant Cristiano Ronaldo goal grabbed Real Madrid a potentially crucial point in this one, after Valencia had briefly threatened to bump them out of the title race just as soon as they had clambered back into it.
Jeremy Mathieu opened the scoring with a header from a corner before half-time, with ex-Madrid youngster Dani Parejo restoring the visitor's lead after Sergio Ramos had equalised on the hour-mark. Then came Ronaldo's intervention—a brilliant backheel that ensured the game finished 2-2.
Here are the player ratings and analysis from Real Madrid's starters.
|Player||Half-time rating||Full-time rating|
First half analysis
Diego Lopez: Made a handful of spectacular saves, but then was unable to deal with the corner that saw Jeremy Mathieu break the deadlock.
Marcelo: Dangerous down the left, the Brazilian was let down somewhat by his final ball.
Raphael Varane: Made one crucial intervention to prevent Paco Alcacer getting in on goal.
Sergio Ramos: Went close with a couple of attacking headers, but was caught out at the other end just before the break.
Dani Carvajal: Quieter than his full-back partner Marcelo on a difficult evening for the Spaniard.
Asier Illarramendi: A unremarkable half, although he started to push forward more as it went on.
Xabi Alonso: Measured on the ball, but seemed a little lost without usual partner Luka Modric alongside him.
Isco: A couple of moments of skill, but needs to produce more in the second half.
Gareth Bale: Looked consistently dangerous, setting up Benzema for a number of close opportunities.
Cristiano Ronaldo: Only the brilliance of Diego Alves denied him a goal in the first 45 minutes.
Karim Benzema: Shooting accuracy was a bit off, preventing him from beating Diego Alves on a couple of occasions.
As if the chase for the La Liga title wasn’t good enough. Ronaldo just did this: https://t.co/1GLjp5xC6S— Back Page Football (@bpfootball) May 4, 2014
Second half analysis
Diego Lopez: Unable to deny Parejo, the goalkeeper will wonder how he managed to concede two goals in this one.
Marcelo: Some dangerous deliveries threatened to create goals, but was exposed for Parejo's strike.
Raphael Varane: Was something of an observer in the closing stages, as Real poured forward.
Sergio Ramos: The one player must determined to get something from the game, the Spaniard deserved his goal—and perhaps could have had another.
Dani Carvajal: Struggled to push forward in support of Bale.
Asier Illarramendi: Withdrawn at half-time for Angel di Maria, who had an impactful second half.
Xabi Alonso: Seemed to have more room to play without Illarramendi alongside him, but struggled to keep Valencia from pushing forward on the attack.
Isco: Continued to underwhelm.
Gareth Bale: Continued to threaten without producing anything tangible.
Cristiano Ronaldo: A spectacular late equaliser just about keeps Real Madrid in the title hunt.
Karim Benzema: Withdrawn before the end, even when Real still desperately needed a goal—perhaps a fitting summary of his evening.