It ended goalless at the Estadio De La Ceramica as neither Villarreal nor Real Madrid could find a winning goal resulting in a stalemate between these two for the second time this season. It was more of a sparring match between these two well-matched teams than the expected one-sided game. Both teams enjoyed a fair amount of chances during the course of the game but poor finishing and some defensive heroics squared up the game.
In a turn of surprising events, Ancelotti decided to start Gareth Bale who has been out of the team for a long period of time. Vini Jr. and Asensio started on the flanks but they were unable to pose any threat to the Villarreal defense during the first half. Real Madrid didn’t find their pace and momentum in the first half leaving Samuel Chukwueze and Lo Celso becoming a menace to the Whites. Villarreal’s attack connected well during the 18th minute as Danjuma collected a cutback from Lo Celso who drilled it towards goal only to hit the post, Real Madrid was able to scramble away the rebound.
Real Madrid found their momentum in the second half and started to contain more possession and was able to control the game. Vinicius Jr. constantly applied pressure to the Submarine defense from his left wing, but the lack of a striker haunted Los Blancos again as there was no one to attempt a clinical shot. Bale was the only player who had around 3 half-chances to score but his lack of playing time and injuries played a part in his poor finishing.
The Best chance of the game came into the hands of Luka Jovic in injury time, as he took on the keeper (Rulli) by himself and attempted an extravagant chip only for it to hit the crossbar, Nacho pounced on the rebound but Villareal’s Serge Aurier being in the right place made the clearance.
Real Madrid will play next in the Champions League against PSG which is surely going to be an uphill climb considering today’s performance.