Real Madrid lost vital ground on leaders Barcelona as they were held at home by Valencia in a result that all but guarantees that the title goes to the Catalans. the Los Blancos hit the woodwork thrice and Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty in an eventful first half which saw fourth-placed Valencia take a 2-0 lead.Paco Alcacer gave the visitors the lead and Javi Fuego’s header doubled it within seven minutes. But the hosts dominated the ball and created the bulk of the chances. Pepe’s header brought the deficit down to one and Isco curled in a brilliant strike from 20 yards to level the score. But Real could not get the goal they needed to win and the result now leaves them four points behind Barcelona with just two games to go.Here are the major talking points from the game.
#1 Diego Alves: the toast of Barcelona
There are times when you think and wonder why anybody would want to be a goalkeeper. Irrespective of how well you play throughout the game, one lapse in concentration or misjudgement will be enough to put your head on the chopping block. And then there are days like Diego Alves enjoyed against Real. Days in which you feel as though nothing can get past you.
Aside from the penalty save, the Brazilian shot-stopper made a few world-class saves and showed just why he deserves his place in the league's Team of the Year, which is still to be decided soon. Even though he was beaten by Pepe, the amount of times, the Brazilian came to his side's rescue was simply phenomenal and if Valencia qualify for the Champions League, it will be thanks in no small part to the brilliance of Alves between the posts.