Real Madrid missed the chance to replace Barcelona at the top of La Liga ahead of Wednesday’s El Clasico but salvaged a 1-1 draw against Valencia as Karim Benzema scored a dramatic injury-time equaliser on Sunday.
Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois ventured up field for a final corner at the Mestalla and it was his header that caused panic in the Valencia box, before the ball fell perfectly for Benzema to strike in the 95th minute.
Valencia looked set for an impressive victory after winger Carlos Soler had put them ahead in the second half but both sides had to settle for a point at the end of a compelling contest between two of the league’s form teams.
It means defending champions Barcelona remain top of the table but in front of Madrid only on goal difference, after they were also held to a thrilling 2-2 draw away at Real Sociedad on Saturday.
Los Blancos were celebrating at the final whistle but the result completes a strong week for Valencia, who won away at Ajax on Tuesday to go through as group winners to the Champions League last 16.
They stay eighth, now three points adrift of the top four and Champions League places.