Madrid (AFP) – Struggling Real Madrid risk falling further behind in La Liga after a cheeky late chip from Pablo Fornals saw Villarreal escape with a 1-0 win on Saturday, their first ever victory at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Fornals struck with three minutes left to leave Zinedine Zidane’s wasteful side fourth and a whopping 16 points behind runaway league leaders Barcelona, a deficit which will turn into 19 should Barca win at Real Sociedad on Sunday.
Villarreal meanwhile move up to fifth on 31 points thanks to midfielder Fornals’ stunning goal, which puts Javier Calleja’s side just a point behind off-form Madrid.
Fornals was on hand for the away side just after it looked like Enes Unal had fluffed his team’s chance after a blistering counter-attack following a Real Madrid corner.
Turk Unal shot straight at Keylor Navas when put through by Denis Cheryshev, but with Navas still recovering from making the save Fornals lifted the ball over the flailing Madrid stopper.
Real fired off nearly 30 shots but their accuracy was wayward, with Cristiano Ronaldo among the worst culprits in front of goal.
So often Real’s saviour, Ronaldo had a bad day at the office, with his worst miss coming just before half-time, when the five-time Ballon d’Or winner managed to shoot straight at Sergio Asenjo after being laid on by Isco in front of a practically open goal just yards out.
The Portuguese was livid with the referee, as he thought that he was tripped by Daniele Bonera just before he shot.
Real dominated the second period, but after failing to break down the resolute visitors, Fornals stepped up to make history and pile the pressure on Zidane.