Highlights: Valencia 2-1 Real Madrid; Valencia end Madrid's 22-match winning streak
The new year brought contrasting fortunes for Valencia and Real Madrid as the home side ended Madrid’s 22-match winning run at the Mestalla Stadium in La Liga with a 2-1 win. Valencia had to come back from a goal down to beat the away side who took the lead through a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty.
It was all business as usual for Madrid when Alvaro Negredo handled the ball inside the box and the referee awarded a penalty to the away side. Ronaldo made no mistake from the spot and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to give Madrid the lead.
Antonio Barragan, however, levelled things at the Mestalla through a deflected goal at the start of the second half. Nicolas Otamendi took advantage of some poor defending to climb over his marker and send a looping header beyond Iker Casillas.
Valencia then held on for the remaining half an hour to become the first side in 22 matches to emerge victorious (without defeat) against Real Madrid.
Their extraordinary run included 12 La Liga, 6 Champions League, 2 Copa del Rey and 2 Club World Cup victories.
A huge crowd gethered at the end of the match to greet the winning team outside the stadium:
Valencia pressed extremely well to break Madrid’s rhythm time and again.
Valencia 0-1 Real Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo (pen) (14’)
The ball struck Alvaro Negredo’s hand and the referee had no qualms in awarding a penalty to the away side.
Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up and put the ball past Diego Alves in the Valencia goal to score his 26th La Liga goal.
Valencia 1-1 Real Madrid: Antonio Barragan (52’)
Jose Gaya’s pass found Barragan at the edge of the box. The Spaniard unleashed a crisp right-footed shot which looked like going straight to Casillas when the ball struck Pepe and left Casillas stranded and the ball hit the back of the net to bring Valencia level.
Valencia 2-1 Real Madrid: Nicolas Otamendi (65’)
Valencia were awarded a corner in the 65th minute of the game and after threatening a few times from set pieces already, Nicolas Otamendi made this one count.
Daniel Parejo’s perfect cross was met by Otamendi’s head to beat Casillas for the second time in the match.