A late goal from Marcelo had given Real Madrid a 2-1 win over Valencia at the Bernabeu to keep the pressure on their La Liga title rivals in Saturday’s evening kick-off.
Facing a damaging setback to Madrid’s title hopes, Marcelo cut back to open a firing angle through a packed area before scoring the dramatic victor with just six minutes remaining.
But the visitors pulled a surprise in the 82nd minute when Daniel Parejo scored, Marcelo then scored four minutes later to give Real a deserved victory.
Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane accepted his side almost paid the price for taking their foot off the gas at 1-0. It’s true that we had half-an-hour when we slipped into our comfort zone, but that changed after the Valencia goal.
“After the Valencia goal we woke up again, and also the fans pushed the players on again”. “With the fans pushing, it is hard to beat us here”.
A largely second-string Madrid side, missing the rested Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and without the suspended Sergio Ramos, recorded an impressive 6-2 victory away to Deportivo La Coruna on Wednesday.
If Chelsea keeps the lead at four points – or even extends it – the trophy is surely heading to Stamford Bridge for the second time in three years.
The Barcelona breakthrough came early in the second half, and the hosts were the architects of their own downfall as a horribly misplaced pass from Jurado allowed Suarez to run clean through on goal, and the striker showed no lack of confidence despite his recent dry spell as he converted a crisp low finish.
Toni Lato then made a magnificent block on the line to deny Ronaldo from bundling home Asensio’s cross at the far post, although the cantera took the full weight of the No 7 in return. The miss nearly came back to haunt Madrid as Dani Parejo scored an exquisite free-kick in the 82 minute to level the score-line. More than 2,000 security officers will oversee Real Madrid’s Champions League semi-final, first leg with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, the Madrid local government confirmed today.
Atletico struck three times in the first 18 minutes in the Canary Islands as Kevin Gameiro netted a double either side of Saul Niguez’s header.
Barca meanwhile have Villareal, Las-Palmas and Eibar left. But if you don’t kill the game off, you suffer.
And Onda Cero is now reporting that Barcelona are ready to win the race after having convinced Theo to break his agreement with Real Madrid and move instead to the Nou Camp.