Real Madrid managed to maintain the five-point deficit to leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid after their two rivals had won earlier. Los Blancos had a difficult game at Mestalla, where the hosts played a good match despite having no manager after Miroslav Djukic dismissal. Jese Rodriguez’s goal gave Real a hard-fought win.
Los Merengues took control of the game very soon and they had the first chances to score. Ronaldo dragged his effort wide of the post after receiving a pass from Karim Benzema. A couple of minutes later, the Portuguese was blocked at the right moment after a brilliant play.
Despite Ronaldo’s good performance, it was Angel di Maria who scored the first goal. Marcelo sent a long cross from the left, the Argentinian picked the ball in the right wing and drove past two defenders before curling a superb shot into the far corner.
Valencia equalised soon as Pablo Piatti headed a cross from Joan Bernat into the far corner.
However, Los Blancos regain the lead just before half time as Ronaldo headed a brilliant cross from Di Maria into the back of the net, although he might have been in an offside position.
The hosts kept on fighting during the second half and they levelled after 15 minutes when Jeremy Mathieu beat Sergio Ramos in the air and directed his header to the top corner.
It was an intense match with end-to-end football, and any side could have earned the three points. But Real took advantage of a mistake from Valencia’s goalkeeper Vicente Guaita to seal the victory thanks to Jese’s strike.