Valencia 2-2 Real Madrid: Match review

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Points were shared at the Mestalla after an ill-timed decision by the referee ruled out a possible winner for Real Madrid.

The fixture began in the worst possible way for the Merengues. Despite dominating possession during the initial phases, Valencia went past the best defense in Europe this season and found the back of the net twice in the starting 30 minutes.

A costly mistake by Dani Carvajal resulted in the 2nd goal, when the Spaniard made a misplaced pass to Andriy Lunin who was unable to get to it. Roman Yaremchuk made most of the opportunity and netted an easy goal in the back of the net.

Three minutes earlier, it was Hugo Duro who opened the scoring. This goal also happened to be the 9th time – out of 18 – that the Merengues have conceded from a player who came through the Castilla ranks.

Vinícius Júnior pulled one back for Ancelotti’s men just on the brink of halftime from a well-timed cross by Rodrygo. The Brazilian again found the back of the net through a header in the 2nd half assisted by Brahim Díaz who also continues his impressive form this season.

Valencia’s Guinea national centre-back, Mouctar Diakhaby was on the receiving end of a foul by Aurelien Tchouaméni in the dying minutes of the game. He was stretched off the field, in what looked like a nasty foul.

What ensued in stoppage time was nothing short of a soap opera. Firstly, following a VAR review, Valencia were not awarded a penalty when it was found out that Fran García has not committed a foul.

With the stoppage time up, Real Madrid got a corner which was possibly the last play of the game. With the corner cleared, Brahim delivered a cross from the edge of the box, and with the ball still in the air, Gil Manzano blew the whistle as soon as Jude Bellingham put that well-delivered ball in the net.

Rightly so, the players were furious with the referee. The Englishman’s reaction to that decision resulted in him receiving a red card and being ruled out for the next game against Celta Vigo at the Bernabeu.

Despite the goal not being given, Real Madrid sit in a comfortable position on the league table as Girona lost their fixture against Mallorca and FC Barcelona played out a draw against Athletic Bilbao.

Decisions might not have gone their way, but the Merengues again showed that they are at their best when pinned back by opponents. The European giants now return to their favorite competition, where they will take on RB Leipzig at the Bernabeu while having a slender 1-goal lead over the German side.

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