MADRID: The Spanish league title race is heading for a dramatic climax after Real Madrid were held goalless at home by Valencia and thus hold now only a four-point lead world, European and domestic champions Barcelona/
The first goalless draw at the Estadio Bernabeu in more than five years owed everything to visiting keeper Vicente Guaita who produced a string of superb saves to frustrate Cristiano Ronaldo, Angel Di Maria and Karim Benzema. He had luck on his side twice, when Ronaldo hit the posts in the eight and 56th minutes.
Madrid, who visit Barcelona later this month, have 79 points from 31 matches, with Barca on 75 after Saturday’s 4-1 win at Zaragoza and Valencia in third on 49. Barcelona, chasing a fourth title in a row, can cut the gap to one point with a win at home to Getafe on Tuesday. Real do not play at Atletico Madrid until Wednesday.
Jose Mourinho’s Real side had a 10-point lead over their arch rivals three weeks ago but slipped to consecutive draws against Malaga and Villarreal and were held again on Sunday by a spirited and well-organised Valencia side.
In France a second-half goal by Alex gave Paris Saint-Germain a 2-1 home win over old rivals Marseille on Sunday to remain in the hunt for a first Ligue title in 18 years. Former Chelsea defender Alex headed home on 61 minutes, two minutes after Andre Ayew had cancelled out Jeremy Menez’s early opener to put PSG on 63 points with seven games left.
They are second to Montpellier on goal difference but the leaders have a game in hand which they will play in Marseille on Wednesday.
In Germany Spanish veteran Raul conjured one of the goals of the season as he struck twice to give Schalke a 3-0 win over Hannover and keep them on course for a place in the Champions League.
Dutchman Klaas-Jan Huntelaar completed the win, breaking a 71-year club record for the number of goals in a season, in a match between two sides knocked out of the Europa League on Thursday. Huntelaar has scored 43 goals in 42 games, 24 in the Bundesliga, 10 in the Europa League, five in the German Cup and four in Europa League qualifiers.
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