Real Madrid hosted Valencia in a must-win game after both title contenders, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, failed to get the three points during their games. With that said, they were only able to come out with one point after a late equalizer by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Carlo Ancelotti had to rest some vital players such as Luka Modric and Pepe and left others on the bench such as Fabio Coentrao and Angel Di Maria after a very tiring couple weeks that passed. The starting lineup was still strong considering our absences as they were a team capable of beating Valencia. The starting lineup consisted of:
Diego Lopez, Daniel Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos [C], Marcelo, Xabi Alonso, Asier Illarramendi, Gareth Bale, Isco, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema
Real Madrid –
Sergio Ramos (59′)
Cristiano Ronaldo (90′)
Jeremy Mathieu (44′)
Daniel Parejo (65′)
Failure To Take Advantage:
Barcelona drew 2-2 against Getafe while Atletico Madrid lost 2-0 against Levante. It was then Real Madrid’s turn as they had a golden opportunity to be equal on points with their neighbors. They hosted Valencia at the Santiago Bernabeu and seemed very confident of getting the three points. After many missed opportunities from the team, Valencia scored and it was a lot more difficult from there. Real Madrid were able to equalize through Sergio Ramos before Valencia scored again. Everyone was thankful for a wonderful goal by Cristiano Ronaldo towards the end of the game as Real Madrid came out with a 2-2 draw.
Marcelo was able to get a slightly rare starting opportunity against Valencia as Fabio Coentrao was rested. The Brazilian left-back had a really bad game as it seemed as though nothing was working out for him.He tried crossing and linking up with Cristiano Ronaldo but wasn’t able to come out with anything helpful. I understand that he recently returned from injury but he really should have been substituted with Coentrao early in the second half as Real Madrid were looking for ways to win the game.
With Xabi Alonso suspended for the Final of the UEFA Champions League, Carlo Ancelotti has already admitted that there is a very big possibility that Asier Illarramendi will be his replacement. If the game against Valencia is anything to go by, then it really won’t go well for the team. Illarramendi is a player who can POTENTIALLY be good enough to take Alonso’s place but not anytime soon. I’m glad that Ancelotti is trying to give him as many opportunities as possible to play in order to be prepared but it doesn’t seem as though it’s going well at the moment. With less than a month left until the Final, things are not looking too great.
From the beginning of the game, Cristiano Ronaldo was trying his best to get his name on the scoresheet. On any other day, the Portuguese would have been able to score earlier but we cannot take credit away from Valencia’s goalkeeper, Diego Alves, as he did everything he possibly could to stop Los Merengues from scoring. At the end of the game, Ronaldo was able to score a wonderful goal with a back-heel and make it 2-2 to Real Madrid. With all that said, he had some moments in the game where he was very frustrated, especially after Alvaro Morata failed to pass the ball to him after coming on. It was probably a ‘heat of the moment’ type of reaction but he needs to hold back especially when he is the type of player who does not usually pass the ball when he thinks he is able to score.
Angel Di Maria:
Angel Di Maria was on the bench for the game as Carlo Ancelotti decided to rest him. At half time, he came on for Asier Illarramendi and completely changed the game. The Argentinean winger was able to increase the pace of the game and add a lot of danger for the team in attack. He was running non-stop and doing everything he could to help Real Madrid win the game. He was able to assist the goal for Cristiano Ronaldo towards the dying minutes of the game.
My Personal Player Ratings:
Diego Lopez: 8/10
Daniel Carvajal: 8.5/10
Raphael Varane: 7.5/10
Sergio Ramos: 8/10
Asier Illarramendi: 5.5/10
Gareth Bale: 8/10
Cristiano Ronaldo: 8.5/10
Karim Benzema: 7.5/10