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Real Madrid's draw opens up La Liga door to Barcelona

Valladolid 1 - Real Madrid 1

By Mark McAuley

Real Madrid's title hopes were severely dented by Real Valladolid in a 1-1 draw at the Jose Zorrilla Stadium last night, giving Barcelona renewed hope.

The result means that, with two games left to play, Atletico Madrid are three points clear of Barcelona – who have a far superior goal difference – at the top with Real Madrid a further point back in third.

But Barcelona host Atletico – who face Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Lisbon a fortnight on Saturday – on the concluding day on Sunday week.

Humberto Osorio's late equaliser lifted Valladolid out of the relegation zone after Sergio Ramos boosted Los Blancos fans – who watched Cristiano Ronaldo go off injured – by hitting a superb free-kick to give the visitors the lead.

But just as they looked to have tied up the points, Osorio headed home in the closing stages to give his side a lifeline and leave Madrid almost needing a miracle to win the title.

Carlo Ancelotti's side, who knew this was a must-win after a 2-2 draw with Valencia at the weekend, were without the injured Gareth Bale, although Luka Modric was able to return after a calf problem.

The hosts had the better of the early exchanges, with Javi Guerra going close in the fifth minute.

He peeled off his marker to head Carlos Pena's cross towards goal, but Iker Casillas was a relieved man as he watched it drift wide.

With Bale already missing, Los Blancos were dealt another hammer blow when Ronaldo was forced off with an injury in the eighth minute after he collided with a Valladolid defender.

Madrid eased into the game as the first half wore on.

They found a breakthrough 10 minutes before half-time, Ramos curling an exquisite free-kick past a despairing Jaime from just outside the box.

Ramos, who has now scored five goals in his last four games in all competitions, managed to find a perfect balance of pace and finesse to dip it up and over the wall, while also having enough swerve to deceive the goalkeeper and find the net.

Valladolid came out with renewed purpose after the interval.

Guerra had the best chance for the home side in the 66th minute, but his speculative overhead kick went inches wide.

Osorio got the goal they deserved five minutes from time, though, catching Madrid napping from Marc Valiente's corner to nod home the equaliser.

Madrid are still mathematically in the hunt, even though they will be relying heavily on other results, but they will now be keeping their fingers crossed for fitness updates on Bale and Ronaldo.

  • Paris St-Germain clinched a second successive French title despite losing 2-1 at home to Rennes as Monaco could only draw 1-1 with visitors Guingamp.

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