An Éric Abidal own goal edged the Liga leaders ahead but the visitors swiftly levelled when Pedro Rodríguez rifled in Lionel Messi’s assist. Pablo Hernández’s strike looked like it would extend Valencia’s 100% opening to the campaign until Fàbregas (77) nonchalantly struck his fourth goal in as many top-flight games.
José Mourinho made six changes, including giving a Real Madrid CF debut to Raphael Varane, from the team that lost 1-0 at Levante UD on Sunday, but Madrid were unable to score against Racing Santander. The 0-0 draw means Madrid have failed to score in successive Liga matches for the first time since January/February 2007.
Atlético Madrid are having no such trouble. They followed up Sunday’s 4-0 defeat of Racing with a repeat scoreline against Sporting Gijón in Madrid, with Falcao adding to his weekend hat-trick with another two goals.
Levante made it two victories in five days with a 2-1 triumph at Rayo Vallecano, while Santi Cazorla got the only goal against visiting Athletic Club as Málaga won for the third straight game without conceding a goal.