Villarreal beat Real Madrid 2-1 at home in what was a famous win for the Yellow Submarines on Saturday night.
The home side were positive from kickoff, taking their possession-based game to the defending LaLiga champions. Carlo Ancelotti’s side came under real pressure in the opening minutes and could have been a goal down had Francis Coquelin not hit the post with a left footed effort in the fourth minute.
After soaking up the pressure, Madrid grew into the game taking more control of the ball, with the home side looking to hit on the counter. Vinicus Junior could have given the away side the lead but it was 40-yar-old goalkeeper Pepe Reina who denied the Brazilian to keep the sides level. Thibaut Courtois too made a string of good saves as the both the sides went into the interval with the score locked at 0-0.
Villarreal took the lead two minutes after the restart when Yeremy Pino’s strike was deflected off Ferland Mendy into the Madrid net. Samuel Chukwueze could have made it 2-0 four minutes later but the Nigerian skied his effort following a lightning Villarreal break.
Karim Benzema restored parity at the hour mark after VAR replays that showed Argentine World Cup winner Juan Foyth had handled the ball in the buildup. Three minutes later, the home side had a spot kick of their own after David Alaba slipped and handled the ball in the box. Gerard Moreno stepped up to convert from the spot and restored his side’s lead on the night.
Quique Setien’s men by far the better side over the course of 90 minutes at the Estadio de la Ceramica and could have won by a bigger margin had they not spurned several opportunities to hit the back of the net. Chukwueze’s 89th minute effort was saved while Arnaut Danjuma missed two glorious opportunities in stoppage time, the last one being an empty net after Courtois had gone up for a corner.
The win sees Setien’s side end their nine-match winless win against Real as they climb to fight in the La Liga standings. Ancelotti’s side will hope their cross town rivals Atletico can beat Barcelona on Sunday, else the Catalans could have a three point advantage over Real with a win of their own.
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