Valencia came from behind twice to draw 2-2 in a thrilling encounter with 10-man Real Madrid at Mestalla on Sunday.
The visitors couldn’t have wished for a better start as Karim Benzema scored after 16 minutes when he guided a low shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box. The French striker was fed by a lovely interchange of passes between Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo for his 16th goal in 17 appearances this season.
The lead was cancelled out just before the interval by a penalty from Daniel Parejo. Rafael Benitez’s men suffered a major blow 20 minutes from time when Mateo Kovacic was shown a straight red card for recklessly taking out Joao Pedro Cancelo.
Despite of one player sent off, the La Liga giants were back in the driving seat with Bale’s brilliant header from Toni Kroos’s free-kick. The crucial win was in sight of the Real Madrid fans as the team required to defend for less than 10 minutes.
But once again the away side was punished as Rodrigo Machado nodded down a cross from Rodrigo de Paul and Alcacer headed in from close range. The shocking aspect was that the hosts took just 70 seconds to score the second equalizer against the Los Blancos.
Both sides had late chances to snatch victory in a frantic finish. Ronaldo came close to score the winner but failed to make contact with a header while Bale blazed over the crossbar in the dying moments. On the other hand, Valencia substitute Alvaro Negredo couldn’t beat goalkeeper Keylor Navas in stoppage time.
With this draw, Real Madrid missed the chance to move above Barcelona into second while Gary Neville is still searching for his first league win at Valencia, although his side had better outing. Valencia continued their unbeaten home record in the Primera Division stretching back to November 2014. IMAGE/Getty Images