Real Madrid lost today for just the third time this season, and first time since September, thanks to a 2-1 defeat at Valencia.
Los Galacticos had a 1-0 lead courtesy of a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty, but second-half goals from Antonio Barragan and Nicolas Otamendi saw Valencia through. The loss leaves Real Madrid exposed at the top of the table, with Barcelona just a point behind and yet to play this round.
It wasn’t even that close, considering both Andre Gomes and Alvaro Negredo came very close to goals, with Gomes rattling the post.
The last loss for Real Madrid came on September 13 when they lost to Atletico Madrid. Since, they have rattled off 12 straight league wins coupled with a perfect record in all other competitions this season – including six wins in the Champions League, two Copa del Rey victories, and a pair of wins plus a trophy in the Club World Cup.
Valencia has been a tough out recently for Madrid. These two sides had drawn two of their previous three matches across all competitions – the most recent of which required a Ronaldo stunner to earn the point – and Valencia had eliminated Real Madrid in the 2012/13 Copa del Rey quarterfinals.
They have also been strong at home this season, losing to just Barcelona on a final-minute Sergio Busquets winner, but otherwise collecting 23 points from a possible 27 at the Mestalla Stadium.
Real Madrid can ill-afford to dwell on the loss, with a vital Copa del Rey Round of 16 match coming up on Wednesday against Atletico Madrid. That was the focus for much of Carlo Ancelotti’s postmatch press conference, as well as some of the players.