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Leaders Real Stunned by Struggling Valencia

Real remain top on 52 points, one ahead of nearest challengers Barcelona and three clear of Sevilla in third, and still have one game in hand on both of their title rivals
By The News · 22 of February 2017 14:11:02
Real Madrid's Gareth Bale (L) and Valencia's Joao Cancelo in action, Mestalla stadium, Valencia, Spain, 22/02/17, Football Soccer - Valencia v Real Madrid - Spanish La Liga Santander - Mestalla stadium, Valencia, Spain, 22/02/17 Real Madrid's Gareth Bale (L) and Valencia's Joao Cancelo in action. REUTERS/Heino Kalis, photo: Reuters/Heino Kalis

Real Madrid suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat at struggling Valencia on Wednesday as they missed the opportunity to extend their lead at the top of La Liga after losing for only the second time in the league this season.

Simone Zaza, who endured a unhappy loan spell at West Ham United earlier this season, gave Valencia the lead in the fifth minute with a brilliant shot on the turn and Fabian Orellana added the second in the ninth.

Cristiano Ronaldo headed Real back into contention just before halftime, but the visitors were unable to build on their momentum after the break.

Real remain top on 52 points, one ahead of nearest challengers Barcelona and three clear of Sevilla in third, and still have one game in hand on both of their title rivals.

RICHARD MARTIN