Ronaldo salvages point for Real with dramatic late stunner
Cristiano Ronaldo kept Real Madrid’s slim title hopes alive, scoring a stoppage time goal to salvage a 2-2 draw and prevent a shock defeat to Valencia at the Bernabeu.
Atletico Madrid’s defeat to Levante earlier in the day meant Real Madrid were presented with the opportunity to close the gap at the top of La Liga to just three points. But it was a chance Carlo Ancelotti’s men couldn’t take, with Ronaldo salvaging a point with a nonchalant backheel flick late in the game.
The Bernabeu side now trail Atletico by five points, although they hold a game in hand over Atleti, with Barcelona just three points adrift with two games left to play.
Real Madrid started the first half strongly, with Ronaldo passing up a glorious chance to put his side 1-0 up, shooting straight at Diego Alves after being played clean through on goal.
Valencia created a clear-cut opportunity of their own just minutes later, when an unmarked Dani Parejo hit the bar from a matter of yards when he really should have scored.
The away side took a shock lead just before the break, with Jeremy Mathieu making the most of Real’s slack defending to head home from a Parejo corner kick.
Los Blancos cranked up the pressure in the second half and found an equaliser after 59 minutes, when Sergio Ramos scored his third goal in two games by turning home Ronaldo’s knock-down.
But incredibly Valencia struck again, with former Real Madrid player Parejo finding the bottom corner following great play by Sofiane Feghouli down the left wing.
Real Madrid piled the pressure on Valencia in an attempt to find a leveler, and in the third minute of stoppage time Ronaldo found one, flicking a cross into the net with an acrobatic backheel volley.
Ronaldo should have scored the winner seconds later, but planted his header wide of the target, with Alvaro Morata also coming close to a winner.