Both Real Madrid and Villareal earned a hard-fought point at the Estadio De La Cerámica after drawing the game 1-1 on Saturday.
An injury-laden Real Madrid had a thin squad before traveling to Villareal, as they were without Karim Benzema, Luka Jovic, Casemiro, and their captain, Sergio Ramos.
The lack of attackers in the squad opened up a spot for Mariano Diaz, who was included in the starting XI for the first time this season. The lethal striker from the Dominican Republic made his presence just 2 minutes into the match when he headed the ball home after a lovely cross into the penalty area by Dani Carvajal, who was also making his return from an injury.
Having scored early, Real Madrid took their time moving the ball around and didn’t push further up the pitch to score another. For this reason, Mariano’s opening goal proved to be the reigning La Liga champions only shot on target of the entire game.
Villareal were much more creative after they conceded the opening goal. Villareal`s creativity was rewarded in the 75th minute as Thibaut Courtois recklessly fouled Samuel Chukwueze after Vinicius gave away the ball with a sloppy pass to Lucas Vasquez. Gerard Moreno was clinical from the penalty spot as he converted in the 76th minute, thus equalizing the game.
With this draw, Real Madrid and Villareal both retain their positions in the League table, with Villareal in 2nd and Real Madrid in 4th.
This was yet another defensive failure for Real Madrid as they have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last eight games across all competitions, a stat which Zinedine Zidane might want to look into.
Real Madrid loanee Takefusa Kubo also got a chance to show his ability and nearly scored for Villareal but got denied by Courtois.