Real Madrid lost the chance to consolidate their lead at the top of La Liga as a result of an away 2-1 loss to Valencia at the Mestalla. The visitors were rocked by two goals in the first 10 minutes by Valencia and that set the course for the remainder of the encounter.
Cristiano Ronaldo pulled one back for Madrid on the cusp of half-time but could not prevent his side from dropping three points. Simone Zaza scored a delightful volley whereas Fabian Orellana doubled Valencia's advantage.
Let's take a look at the five talking points from a night to forget for Real Madrid in their defeat against Valencia:
#1 Los Blancos showing first signs of fatigue
This was Real Madrid's 12th game in 2017 with this fixture being squeezed in the schedule as a result of Madrid's involvement in the Club World Cup. Zinedine Zidane's men are set to play seven more games before the first international break of this year in March.
The fatigue levels were on show for the first time as despite making changes in the starting lineup, Real fell prey to a slow start and could not recover from it.
Last night was Real Madrid's toughest challenge in their title aspirations after they were 2-0 down against a side that is placed in the bottom half of the table. If Real do qualify for the semi-finals of the Champions League, they will have a midweek game in each week until the month of May which will make matters worse for the manager and the players.
The league is Real Madrid's to lose and the result against Valencia will play a huge role in deciding the champions in May.