Liga: Real Madrid does well in Valencia before hosting Leipzig in the Champions League


By: Manu Tournoux

It’s the Saturday night bill in Spain. On the 27th day of La Liga, Real Madrid traveled to the Estadio Mestalla to take on Valencia. Installed in the first half of the table despite a checkered journey since the start of this 2023-2024 edition, the che club nevertheless intended to reconnect once and for all with Europe. To do this, it was imperative to play a bad trick on his Madrid counterpart, who occupies first place in the ranking despite lackluster performances in recent weeks. On the other hand, the White House intended to rely on Bellingham, back from injury, to widen the gap in the lead and build up confidence before hosting Leipzig on Wednesday.

Undefeated in 8 home games, Valencia held its place against an enterprising Madrid team but far from being truly dangerous. Under pressure from Bellingham and Vinicius, copiously whistled by the Mestalla public at each touch of the ball, the Murciélagos rearguard offered great resistance to the Merengue armada by defending with courage and seriousness during the first quarter of ‘hour. And against all odds, Valencia finally surprised its opponent. Found in the area by Foulquier, Canos unscrewed his shot but found Duro on his way who, with a simple deflection of the head, opened the scoring (1-0, 27th). In the process, Valencia took advantage of a big mistake from Carvajal to make the break. On a weak recovery from the Spaniard, Yaremchuk appeared to recover the ball, bypass Lunin and propel him into the empty goal (2-0, 30th).

Vinicius saves Real Madrid!

Overtaken in the duels and feverish defensively, Real Madrid was now two goals behind its opponent. Jostled, the Merengue club nevertheless showed responsiveness. On a cross from the right by Carvajal and blocked, Vinicius benefited from Mamardashvili’s poor outing to revive his team before the break (2-1, 45th+5). After breaking down in the final moments of an electric first act, Valencia was plagued by doubts. Opposite, a reaction was expected from the Merengue side. Thus, Real Madrid resumed its march forward and pressed its opponent high. In great pain, Valencia could nevertheless rest on its last rampart. Faulty on Vinicius’ goal, the Georgian made amends by diverting Bellingham’s attempt with his foot (54th).

Cornered in their own half, Valencia, however, exploited Madrid’s loss of ball to put themselves in the spotlight. From the right, Perez alerted Duro to a low cross. Resisting Carvajal’s return, the Iberian forced Lunin to make a classy reflex save to allow Madrid to stay in the game (60th). If Diaz lacked success in front of the Valencia goal, it did not escape Vinicius. Forgotten by Mosquera, the Brazilian equalized with a header (2-2, 76th). For his 250th match in the Merengue jersey, Vinicius scored twice and allowed his team to ignite the end of the game. In vain, because the two teams parted with a parity score although Bellingham thought for a moment of offering victory to his team when the referee had just blown the whistle (90th + 8). Although it came from afar to grab the draw, Real Madrid nevertheless showed a certain worrying defensive feverishness a few days before Leipzig hosted the Champions League on Wednesday. In the standings, the Madrid club retains its leadership position while Valencia misses the opportunity to come back three units from sixth place, occupied by Betis.

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