After an excellent performance by Valencia, with Guaita claiming that it was his best ever game in goal, Real Madrid had to settle for a point. Barcelona`s 4-1 victory away to Zaragoza means that the lead at the top of La Liga is now just four points.
This was the first goalless league draw at the Bernabeu since 2007 and increases the pressure on Jose Mourinho and the players. Pundits had almost given Madrid the league title a few weeks ago when they pulled out a ten point lead, whereas some are now claiming Barcelona are favourites.
The scoreline does not do justice to an excellent Madrid performance, they just happened to meet a very strong and determined Valencia. There were fifty shots during the game, 33 to Madrid and countless great saves, Casillas having to rescue his team from an even worse result on a couple of occassions.
Reaction to the result was mixed. The fans gave the team a rousing reception, while blasting the referee for failing to give at least one penalty and a red card. Karanka gave the post match interview and, alyhough clearly unhappy with the refereeing, stopped short of any specific accusations. Arbeloa blamed bad luck, when Madrid did beat the keeper the woodwork was there to deny Madrid a winner. Casillas was even more magnanimous, admitting that either team could have won.
Casillas and Arbeloa were more keen to look forward to wednesday`s crucial derby against Athletico. Keep calm and carry on.
As Arbeloa rightly said, “we would have taken a four point lead going to Barcelona at the start of the season.”