Real Madrid came out with a 2-2 draw against Valencia as they have practically gifted the La Liga title to Barcelona with only two games left in the competition.

Starting Lineup:

Carlo Ancelotti made a few changes to the starting eleven as he chose to rest some players ahead of Wednesday’s game against Juventus. The starting lineup consisted of:

Iker Casillas [C], Alvaro Arbeloa, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Fabio Coentrao, Toni Kroos, Isco, Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Chicharito

Scorers:

Real Madrid –
Pepe (56′)
Isco (84′)

Valencia –
Paco Alcacer (19′)
Javier Fuego (26′)

No Place For Luck?

Even though Real Madrid were 2-0 down at half-time, they were actually quite unlucky! They attacked and were fully up for the match with Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, and Chicharito all hitting the woodwork! Valencia scored their opening goal from a defensive mistake by Alvaro Arbeloa while the second goal was through another mistake! It’s no secret that Los Merengues have come out with some embarrassingly horrible defending in the past few games and the match against Valencia was no exception. This was Real Madrid’s game to win but it simply wasn’t meant to be…

Substitutions:

As I mentioned earlier, Carlo Ancelotti decided to make a few changes for the game against Valencia as he left players such as Daniel Carvajal and Marcelo on the bench to rest them for the upcoming UEFA Champions League match against Juventus. Unfortunately, the first half ended 2-0 to the visitors and he decided to make two substitutions as he brought in both defenders to replace Alvaro Arbeloa and Fabio Coentrao. The problem with that is he already made a forced substitution during the first half to replace the injured Toni Kroos with Asier Illarramendi. Going into the second half with no substitutions left is always risky but it paid off in the end as  Los Blancos were in control and were able to get two goals back but were not able to win the match.

Alvaro Arbeloa:

Probably the worst player on the pitch against Valencia, Alvaro Arbeloa was at fault for both of the goals conceded in the first half and he was correctly substituted at half-time for Carvajal. Arbeloa has had some good moments before against the smaller teams but there was certainly no reason to play him against Valencia in our most difficult game of the La Liga title race! He should have been on the bench for Carvajal from the beginning but, I guess it could be a bit understandable since Ancelotti had one eye on the  Juventus match…

Isco:

What a player!!!! Isco was all over the pitch last night and was the one player who kept improving as the game got more difficult. He was perfect on and off the ball with his passing being excellent. His goal was a joy for everyone to see as he got the equalizer in the last few minutes of the match. The Spanish midfielder has been one of the most important players for Real Madrid and his performance against Valencia shows exactly why. Many big things are expected of him towards the end of this campaign.

ISCODISCO

Goodbye, La Liga?

Real Madrid’s draw against Valencia after Barcelona’s 2-0 win against Real Sociedad has all but meant that the Catalans will be crowned the champions of  La Liga this season. To be completely honest, we only have ourselves to blame after a very inconsistent time since January as we also let go of a comfortable 5-point lead at the top of the table. If Barcelona are able to win just one of their upcoming two games (against Atletico Madrid and Deportivo La Coruna), then they will be crowned champions. Los Merengues will pretty much have to put all their concentration on the  UEFA Champions League as they now play against Juventus in the second-leg to try making it to the final in Berlin against either Barcelona or Bayern Munich.

My Personal Player Ratings:

Iker Casillas – 8/10
Alvaro Arbeloa – 4/10
Pepe – 8/10
Sergio Ramos – 8.5/10
Fabio Coentrao – 7/10
Toni Kroos – N/A
Isco – 9.5/10
Gareth Bale – 8/10
James Rodriguez – 7/10
Cristiano Ronaldo – 7.5/10
Chicharito – 7.5/10

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