Yeremy Pino netted early in the second half but Karim Benzema’s penalty soon canceled that out, altoguh Villarreal’s winner came from the opposite penalty just moments later as Gerard Moreno secured a deserved victory.
Villarreal were on target just seconds into the game and Alex Baena’s shot that flew over the bar served as a real warning to Los Blancos, who were chaotic at the back in the early stages.
Alberto Moreno’s cross then found the backheel of Francis Coquelin, whose famous effort hit the bar and went wide.
Los Blancos began to settle, with Benzema firing over 15 minutes before an energetic Eder Militao saw his effort deflected away, but the visitors continued to press high and Thibaut Courtois was called upon to thwart Pino in a one-on-one.
Baena thundered over from range on two separate occasions, with real hearts in his mouth as they continued to look incredibly shaky at the back, but perhaps should have taken the lead into the half-time break as Vinicius Junior failed to make the most of it. great opportunity in boxing.
Just a minute into the second half, Villarreal got a deserved goal. A mistake by Ferlando Mendy ceded possession and the ball ended up at Pino whose shot was saved by Courtois but ended up in the back of the net after deflecting off the retreating Mendy.
Benzema fired wide just seconds later, even though the offside flag was raised for a narrow decision, but he really should have scored in the 56th minute when Vinicius’ clipper cleared the keeper but the Frenchman’s effort was cleared off the line. by a desperate Juan Foyth.
However, a controversial VAR intervention spotted the ball from Foyth seconds earlier and awarded a penalty and Benzema made no mistake from 12 yards.
Two minutes later, Foyth made amends with a through ball that hit David Alaba’s arm to earn the visitors a penalty, and Moreno slotted home to restore Villarreal’s lead.
The second goal saw two substitutions and a change of form for Real, who surged forward in search of an equalizer that never felt like it was going to come.
With time winding down, Vinicius fired in a speculative strike from distance which sparked a moment of excitement before curling comfortably into the ball before the Brazilian lifted another over the bar straight after.
Villarreal should have had a third in the dying embers on the counter after a corner which Courtois headed forward. Arnaut Danjuma broke away, but his shot from distance went wide of the empty net. Fortunately for the guests, it didn’t matter.
Real Madrid player ratings (4-3-3)
GK: Thibaut Courtois – 6/10 – Had to make some big saves in the first half as Real failed to deal with Villarreal’s threat. Actually did save the first goal but could no nothing about the second.
RB: Eder Militao – 5/10 – Some excellent defending and some awful moments. A real mixed bag.
CB: Antonio Rudiger – 4/10 – A really sloppy start to the game. Rudiger looked nervous and far from his best, although he did start to calm himself down eventually.
CB: David Alaba – 4/10 – Really off here. Looked so uncomfortable and gifted far too much space to Villarreal’s forwards. Unfortunate to fall over for the penalty but rules are rules.
LB: Ferland Mendy – 2/10 – Yet again, brought nothing on the ball. Real needed help getting the ball out from the back but Mendy wasn’t up to the task. Made the fatal mistake for the opening goal.
DM: Aurelien Tchouameni – 4/10 – Tasked with being a real defensive anchor here and fell short. Left far too much space in behind him and that led to a barrage of strikes from distance from Baena.
CM: Toni Kroos – 5/10 – Failed to offer the sort of control you’d expect from Kroos. Overran in midfield.
CM: Luka Modric – 6/10 – Put himself about to try and dominate in midfield but could only do so much.
RW: Federico Valverde – 4/10 – Anonymous as a winger as he was forced to play more as a right-back, where he wasn’t particularly impressive either. Improved when he moved central but the damage was already done.
ST: Karim Benzema – 5/10 – Some excellent passes but generally struggled to get himself involved. Took his penalty well.
LW: Vinicius Junior – 5/10 – His dribbles were full of danger but lacked any real end product. Can’t fault his effort.
Rodrygo (64′ for Mendy) – 5/10 – Got into a handful of decent positions but probably should have done a bit better in front of goal.
Lucas Vazquez (64′ for Tchouameni) – 5/10 – Anonymous after coming on. Didn’t really help in attack but also did nothing wrong defensively.
Eduardo Camavinga (70′ for Modric) – 6/10 – Brought energy when he came on.
Marco Asensio (82′ for Valverde) – N/A
Carlo Ancelotti – 5/10 – A quick tactical switch after an awful first five minutes ensured Real calmed things down, but Ancelotti couldn’t figure out a way to turn the tide completely. Changed the shape after the first goal but it didn’t fix too much.
Villarreal player ratings (4-3-3)
GK: Pepe Reina (6); RB: Juan Foyth (7); CB: Raul Albiol (7); CB: Pau Torres (7); LB: Alberto Moreno (7); DM: Dani Parejo (7); CM: Francis Coquelin (7); CM: Alex Baena (7); RW: Samuel Chukwueze (7); ST: Gerard Moreno (9); LW: Yeremy Pino (8)
Substitutes: Alfonso Pedraza (6), Jose Luis Morales (6), Arnaut Danjuma (N/A), Manu Trigueros (N/A)