In a tough-tackling encounter, Cristiano Ronaldo gave Madrid the lead with an early penalty after Alvaro Negredo was adjudged to have deliberately handled the ball.
Valencia turned the match on its head with goals from Antonio Barragan and Nicolas Otamendi early in the second half.
Madrid were hunting a 23rd straight win as they closed in on Coritiba’s world record of 24 in a row, but Valencia’s impressive home record — only Barcelona have won at the Mestalla this season — proved their undoing.
“It was a defeat that came after stringing together 22 straight wins. It was bound to come sooner or later. We were playing well before the run and we are also going to play well after it,” said Real boss Carlo Ancelotti last night.
“This defeat won’t affect us. It had to come eventually and we are looking forward because the season is a very long and we are well positioned in La Liga.”
Barcelona missed the chance to close on Real as they lost 1-0 to David Moyes’s Real Sociedad in the late game last night.
Barca defender Jordi Alba headed into his own net after just two minutes at the Anoeta last night.
On Saturday Antoine Griezmann scored twice as third-placed Atletico Madrid kept the pressure on the Primera Division’s leading teams with a 3-1 home win over Levante.
Sevilla limped to an unconvincing 1-0 victory over Celta Vigo, who were forced to play most of the game with 10 men after Carles Planas was shown a straight red card. Nico Pareja gave Sevilla the lead from a free-kick.
Villarreal squandered a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 away to Elche. Marcelino’s side looked to be heading for a sixth straight league victory when Luciano Vietto and Ikechukwu Uche scored inside the opening 20 minutes. However the hosts got back into the game through top scorer Jonathas de Jesus, who then provided the assist for Victor Rodriguez’s impressive equaliser after 35 minutes.
Malaga suffered a 2-1 home loss to Almeria while Ivan Cavaleiro scored for the first time since August as Deportivo La Coruna fended off Athletic Bilbao to climb clear of the relegation zone with a 1-0 win.
Rayo Vallecano recovered from conceding after only two minutes to win 2-1 at Getafe.