Zaza scores stunner as Valencia dents Real Madrid's La Liga title hopes
MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid failed to recover from the shock of conceding two goals in the first 10 minutes on Wednesday, losing 2-1 to Valencia and wasting a chance to increase its Spanish league lead.
The end of Madrid's four-game winning streak left Zinedine Zidane's team one point ahead of Barcelona, although it still has another game in hand.
Valencia got off to a fast start at its Mestalla Stadium with goals by two players who were added to the squad in January.
Italian striker Simone Zaza opened the scoring in the fifth minute after controlling the ball with his back to the goal. He quickly turned to fire a left-footed strike into the top corner, away from goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
Chilean forward Fabian Orellana added to the lead in the ninth with a low shot past Navas from inside the area after a great through ball by Nani.
Cristiano Ronaldo pulled Madrid closer with a header off a cross by Marcelo just before halftime, but Valencia held on the rest of the game.
Trying to win its first Spanish league title since 2012, Madrid hadn't lost since a 2-1 defeat at Sevilla in January ended its 40-game unbeaten streak in all competitions.
It was the second straight win for Valencia, which moved to 14th and 10 points away from the relegation zone.
The game at Mestalla was rescheduled from the 16th round because Madrid traveled to Japan to play in the Club World Cup, a competition it won.
Madrid's game against Celta was postponed earlier this year after heavy winds damaged Celta's Balaidos Stadium in Vigo. The match still hasn't been rescheduled.