Real Madrid risk falling further behind Barcelona in the LaLiga title race after suffering a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Villarreal at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The Yellow Submarine tied their hosts twice, with Samuel Chukwueze the key man as he bagged two goals and an assist, including a superb winner.
A Pau Torres own goal put Madrid ahead before Chukwueze slotted home the equaliser, substitute Jose Morales then leveled the scores again after Vinicius Junior put Madrid back in front with a fine solo drive.
However, Chukwueze struck again in a dramatic final 10 minutes to give Villarreal a famous win, with Madrid seeing a late penalty overturned by VAR.
Vinicius was quick to pull the Madrid team’s strings and in the 16th minute fed Marco Asensio, who saw his attempted ball back into the middle of the pitch diverted by Torres into his own net.
Having missed earlier opportunities, Chukwueze finally took his chance by showing excellent skill to beat Nacho on the edge of the box after receiving a pass from Giovanni Lo Celso and finishing expertly.
Madrid responded just three minutes after the break, Vinicius slotting past Chukwueze and Aissa Mandi into the box before firing past Pepe Reina from close range to restore the visitors’ lead.
Mandi had a goal ruled out for offside, but an equalizer followed after 20 minutes, Chukwueze’s low cross into the box causing panic among the Madrid defenders and allowing Morales to stab home the second attempt.
Chukwueze then struck again, curling brilliantly past Courtois from the edge of the box to give Villarreal the lead, although Madrid thought they had been given a lifeline with a late penalty.
After Eduardo Camavinga ran into the box, a penalty was awarded for an alleged pass from Mandi, although a VAR review showed no contact and the on-field decision was overturned, with Villarreal holding on for an impressive victory.
Real Madrid player ratings (4-2-3-1)
GK: Thibaut Courtois – 6/10 – Made four saves during the first half before Chukwueze left him sunken with a fine finish.
RB: Lucas Vazquez – 4/10 – Didn’t offer much attacking threat and got caught out of position.
CB: Antonio Rudiger – 5/10 – Struggled to get on the front foot in defence against Villarreal’s exchanging forwards.
CB: David Alaba – 5/10 – Unsettled in defence and came off after the break.
LB: Nacho Fernandez – 3/10 – If somebody finds Nacho, please let everyone know.
CM: Dani Ceballos – 7/10 – Grabbed an assist for Vinicius’ strike and was probably Real’s best midfielder.
CM: Aurelien Tchouameni – 6/10 – One hefty tackle made for tense viewing for Real fans as VAR deliberated.
CM: Marco Asensio – 7/10 – His run in midfield and ball across the box set up Torres’ own goal.
RW: Rodrygo – 6/10 – Had five shots – a joint game high with Vinicius – but only hit the target with one.
LW: Vinicius Junior – 8/10 – Thrived in the open nature of the contest, constantly going close in the first half.
ST: Karim Benzema – 6/10 – Pulled strings with nice passes for his wingers. Brought off early before Champions League duties.
Eder Militao (46′ for Alaba) – 5/10
Federico Valverde (59′ for Benzema) – 6/10
Luka Modric (72′ for Tchouameni) – 6/10
Eduardo Camavinga (75′ for Ceballos) – 6/10
Carlo Ancelotti – 4/10 – Gave some heavy-hitters in midfield a break from the starting XI. Didn’t come off and now has to deal with a bad result heading into the Champions League.
Villarreal player ratings (4-3-3)
GK: Pepe Reina (7); RB: Juan Foyth (7), CB: Aissa Mandi (7), CB: Pau Torres (6), LB: Alfonso Pedraza (7); CM: Ramon Terrats (6), CM: Dani Parejo (8), CM: Alex Baena (8), RW: Samuel Chukwueze (9), ST: Giovani Lo Celso (8), LW: Yeremi Pino (6),
Jose Luis Morales (7), Alberto Moreno (6), Kiko Femenia (N/A), Johan Mojica (N/A)
Player of the match – Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal)
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