Having seen co-leaders Atlético Madrid and FC Barcelona win their respective final games before the winter break, Real Madrid had no other choice but to win on the road against Valencia CF in order to stay within five points of the current La Liga co-leaders. With the game tied at 2-2 entering the final 10 minutes of play, it appeared as if Real Madrid would drop two big points to a team that is dealing with some turmoil after their coach, having been fired, saw young winger Jese Rodriguez score the game winner after having been on the field of play for a total of three minutes.
The win sees Real Madrid stay third in the standings on 38 points through 16 games played but most importantly, it remains five points behind their city and eternal rivals. The reason that this is a very important win for Real Madrid is because a draw, even a loss, would have meant that their chances to win the league title would be something less than one percent when analyzed from a analytical point of view. While there are still 22 games left in league play, which means that 66 points to win are still up for grabs, recent history of who has won La Liga shows us that Real Madrid would have no chance had they dropped points against Valencia.
In the last two seasons, the winner of the league has done so with 100 or more points from the 38 league games, which are played. Going off of that, the most points a team can drop in order to have a realistic expectation of winning the league title is somewhere between 12-14 points. Keeping that in mind, through 16 games so far in the 2013-14 season, Real Madrid have already dropped 10 points in their first 16 league games and therefore.
If Real Madrid had tied or even lost to Valencia on Sunday evening, that would have meant they would have dropped somewhere between 12-13 points aside from being either seven or eight points behind the co-leaders at this moment. With that in mind, this would have meant that Real Madrid would have to win all their league games from here on out and hope that both Atlético Madrid and FC Barcelona would drop enough points to see Real Madrid jump over them for the league win.
At least with the win over Valencia, Real Madrid maintains themselves within distance of the league leaders. While Real Madrid still cannot afford to give away many or more points and will still need those above them to give away points, at the very least, they still are in position to take advantage of that scenario were as a draw or loss to Valencia would have meant they could waive goodbye to winning the league.