Real Madrid handed down the gauntlet to Barcelona, with a late 2-1 win over Valencia. The win has Madrid topping La Liga by three points, although Barcelona can reclaim their crown by defeating RCD Espanyol tonight.
Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring with a well-taken header in the 27th minute, although he missed a great chance to double Madrid’s lead, with Diego Alves saving his 57th-minute penalty. Dani Parejo nearly struck a critical blow in the title race with an incredible 82nd-minute free-kick, only for Marcelo to rescue Los Blancos with an 86th-minute strike.
Here are the major talking points from the game
#1 Cristiano Ronaldo continues to rewrite record books
A new goal, a new record.
The Portuguese superstar seems to break a record with every goal he scores, but Cristiano Ronaldo will look upon the goal he scored today with particular fondness. It was his 367th league goal in Europe’s Top 6 leagues, taking him past the legendary Jimmy Greaves, breaking a record that stood for 47 years. He’s also scored 20+ goals in each of his eight seasons at Real Madrid – showing how consistent he is.
Football fans ought to really appreciate how lucky we are to witness the likes of Ronaldo and Messi – they have made mind-boggling feats seem mundane - Ronaldo was anything but mundane today. The Portuguese star’s ability to deliver in the decisive moments was crucial against Valencia, who made a great start to the game and troubled Madrid a fair bit before Ronaldo did his thing, scoring the 590th goal of his professional career.
Ronaldo wasn’t the selfish player he’s been accused of being as he ages, he set up Morata, James and Benzema quite often today, only for his teammates to fluff their lines. The Portuguese star looks well on his way to adapting his game, which ought to spell good news for Real Madrid.