Spanish La Liga
ValenciaValencia2Real MadridReal Madrid2

Valencia 2-2 Real Madrid

By Emlyn BegleyBBC Sport
Paco Alcacer
Valencia's equaliser came seconds after Gareth Bale's goal

Gary Neville's Valencia battled to a dramatic La Liga draw with 10-man Real Madrid at the Mestalla.

The visitors led when Karim Benzema finished off a great move involving Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, but Dani Parejo equalised with a penalty.

Real had Mateo Kovacic sent off for a lunging tackle but looked set for a win when Bale headed home.

However, Valencia earned a third point under Neville when Paco Alcacer headed in from close range seconds later.

The home side could have won the game in injury time when substitute Alvaro Negredo was found in space at the edge of the box, but he could only shoot straight at goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

Alvaro Negredo
Alvaro Negredo looked distraught after missing a glorious chance to beat his former club Real at the end

Good result for one manager...

The Nevilles
Valencia have won three points from four La Liga games under Gary and Phil Neville so far

There is no doubt this is the best result of Neville's spell as Valencia boss, following a Champions League defeat, two draws from three La Liga games and a Spanish Cup win over lower league Barakaldo.

Los Che did not look impressive in the opening half hour but Parejo deservedly levelled from the spot after Pepe fouled Andre Gomes.

Once Real went down to 10 men, Neville made some changes, bringing on Rodrigo, who headed a cross into the path of Alcacer to equalise.

Negredo, another substitute, should have sealed a famous win when Alcacer found him in space deep into injury time but he was denied by Navas and Gomes put the rebound wide.

After the game, Neville insisted he wanted to remain at Valencia beyond his six-month contract and said his claim he did not see himself in management long term had been misunderstood.

...but a bad one for the other

Rafael Benitez and Gary Neville
Benitez is under pressure at Real Madrid having lost three La Liga games this season

It appears that Real boss Rafael Benitez is more popular among Valencia fans than his own.

Home supporters unfurled a banner thanking him for a spell in charge that yielded two La Liga titles earlier in the millennium.

Benitez was named Madrid boss in the summer, but they sit four points off city rivals Atletico at the top of La Liga and two behind Barcelona, who have a game in hand.

Benitez appeared to anger goalscorer Benzema when replacing him with winger Lucas Vazquez two minutes before Kovacic was dismissed for hacking down Joao Cancelo.

Although they looked like they were going to win it when Bale headed home before Alcacer's quickfire equaliser, Madrid did nowhere near enough to deserve a victory.

Rafael Benitez banner
Benitez led Valencia to two La Liga titles and the Uefa Cup in three seasons as Los Che manager

The game in numbers

  • Gareth Bale has scored more headed goals than any other player in La Liga this season (four).
  • Toni Kroos completed more passes with 100% of accuracy than any other player in a La Liga game this season (80/80).
  • Valencia have gone 21 league home games without a loss, their best undefeated run at home since October 1990 (22).
  • Karim Benzema has scored more goals than any other French player in the top five European leagues this season (12).
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has had a hand in 18 goals in his last eight games (12 goals, six assists, all competitions).



Formation 4-3-3

  • 24Domenech Sánchez
  • 19BarragánBooked at 57mins
  • 4Santos
  • 23Abdennour
  • 6OrbanSubstituted forRodrigoat 80'minutes
  • 21André Gomes
  • 10ParejoSubstituted forNegredoat 84'minutes
  • 12Barbosa da Silva
  • 2Cancelo
  • 9Alcácer
  • 20de PaulSubstituted forFuego Martínezat 87'minutes


  • 3Nunes Vezo
  • 7Negredo
  • 11Piatti
  • 17Rodrigo
  • 18Fuego Martínez
  • 22Mina Lorenzo
  • 25Ryan

Real Madrid

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Navas
  • 23Danilo
  • 3PepeBooked at 45mins
  • 4Ramos
  • 12Marcelo
  • 19Modric
  • 8Kroos
  • 16KovacicBooked at 68mins
  • 11Bale
  • 9BenzemaSubstituted forVázquezat 67'minutes
  • 7Cristiano Ronaldo


  • 2Varane
  • 6Nacho
  • 10Rodríguez
  • 13Casilla
  • 14Casemiro
  • 18Vázquez
  • 22Isco
José María Sánchez Martínez

Match Stats

Home TeamValenciaAway TeamReal Madrid
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Valencia CF 2, Real Madrid 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Valencia CF 2, Real Madrid 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Luka Modric following a fast break.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. André Gomes (Valencia CF) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left following a fast break.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Álvaro Negredo (Valencia CF) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Paco Alcácer.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Antonio Barragán.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Danilo.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Aderlan Santos.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Marcelo (Real Madrid) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is blocked.

  10. Post update

    Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by André Gomes (Valencia CF).

  12. Post update

    Hand ball by Marcelo (Real Madrid).

  13. Post update

    Foul by Pepe (Real Madrid).

  14. Post update

    Jaume (Valencia CF) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Danilo.

  16. Post update

    Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Danilo (Valencia CF).

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Valencia CF. Javi Fuego replaces Rodrigo de Paul.

  19. Post update

    Pepe (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Rodrigo de Paul (Valencia CF).

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 3rd January 2016

  • ValenciaValencia2Real MadridReal Madrid2
  • Rayo VallecanoRayo Vallecano2Real SociedadReal Sociedad2
  • GranadaGranada2SevillaSevilla1
  • Real BetisReal Betis0EibarEibar4
  • Ath BilbaoAthletic Bilbao2Las PalmasLas Palmas2
  • Dep La CoruñaDeportivo La Coruña1VillarrealVillarreal2

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