Real Madrid rallied to a late win against Valencia to turn the screws on Barcelona as the La Liga title race enters the home stretch.
The match at the Santiago Bernabeu was not short of drama, as the Gareth Bale-less home side survived a scare. Cristiano Ronaldo opened up the scoring in the first half with a header, but his missed penalty in the second half nearly came back to haunt the title-hopefuls.
After Luka Modric went down in the box, Ronaldo stepped up to the spot against Valencia’s Diego Alves. The Brazilian goalkeeper lunged to his left to deny Ronaldo, keeping the score at 1-0 in Real Madrid’s advantage. Alves has made a habit of giving penalty-takers fits. The 31-year-old Valencia man has saved six already this La Liga season. In 53 penalty attempts, Alves has made a whopping 26 saves since playing in La Liga, per AP.
Three of those have come against Ronaldo.
After Dani Parejo’s scintillating free kick tied it up in the 82nd, Real Madrid appeared destined to drop points. But Real’s Marcelo provided a bit of magic to lift his team to a full three points, curling home the match-winner in the 86th minute.