Valencia were on the verge of a laboured victory until Real Madrid ground out a late tie thanks to yet another goal from Karim Benzema, who snatched on a loose from the Courtois header to score in the 95th minute.
Salvaging a last minute draw in front of a packed Mestalla should be a reason for happiness, but Sergio Ramos was upset at the end. He wanted more.
Barça were also left wanting more at the Anoeta the day before against an exquisite Real Sociedad, so they rallied against VAR. It is true that both of the big two now see results that they would have celebrated in the past as not good enough.
Madrid's constant faith awarded against Valencia
We witnessed a great match at Mestalla. Madrid, who kept Casemiro on the bench (he is on four yellow cards ahead of the Clásico), played an exquisite first half, constantly pressuring and jabbing a Valencia side that hit back when it could. It was something like the fight between the mongoose and the cobra.
The constant effort to keep up the pressure exhausted Madrid after the break. Then the balance of the game swung back towards the home side, who pushed forward and worked a goal through Soler in the 78th minute.
Madrid's late draw was a reward for their constant faith and ensured a fair final scoreboard. And with that result, the two greats face off in the Clásico on Wednesday at the Camp Nou tied on 35 points.