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Video: Pressure intensifies on Benitez as Neville’s Valencia trump Real Madrid

A late equaliser from Paco Alcacer was enough to rescue a point from Gary Neville‘s Valencia at home to Real Madrid, heaping further pressure on Merengues boss Rafael Benitez.

Los Merengues have cruised past lesser opponents in recent weeks, scoring 18 goals over two games against Malmo and neighbours Rayo Vallecano, but they once again came unstuck when they were held by a spirited Valencia side at the Mestalla.

Karim Benzema opened the scoring for the visitors with a truly superb goal after magnificent interaction with Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, but Los Che skipper Dani Parejo responded from the spot after a clumsy challenge by Pepe in the box.

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Bale felt aggrieved when his penalty claims were turned down, and thought he’d got his revenge when he sent a powerful header past Jaume in the Valencia goal in the 82nd minute.

However, Real are a brittle beast under Benitez, and having been reduced to ten men in the 68th minute when Mateo Kovacic was dismissed for a lunge, were pinned back once again when Alcacer headed past Keylor Navas from close range.


Speaking after the match, Benitez refused to accept that he ought to be concerned about his future.

“You are entitled to ask the question but I think it is misguided,” Benitez began, as per Goal.

“It is a waste to only see the result. The effort made by the team deserves more praise than anything else.

“I cannot control the speculation. What I do is I get the team to work as it has today. They have made a great effort and unfortunately have not taken all three points.

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“We played a good game. In the first half for 35 minutes we had control, the second half was difficult but we worked well.

“When we were down to ten we had to make more of an effort and the players did that. We had chances of winning and losing, my regret is that after the goal we couldn’t stop their second.”

Real are third in the table following the draw, having amassed 37 points from their opening 18 matches. They have fallen four points behind Atletico Madrid, who defeated Levante 1-0 this weekend.

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