Real Madrid loss 3 point against Villarreal
Real Madrid were once again left frustrated after failing to score despite ample chances in front of goal. The Spanish giants could also feel aggrieved as a disallowed goal and a strong penalty appeal didn't fall in their favour.
Gareth Bale headed in a goal in the 18th minute of the game which was ruled offside by officials, much to the players' protests. Replays show that the call was a lot closer than originally thought, but that it looked like a correct decision nonetheless.. In addition, the Madrid club had a penalty shout for handball against Villarreal's Alvaro shot down by the referee who didn't believe it was intentional, with the defender having little time to react to a deflection off Bale.
Despite these 'injustices', Zidane's players could have easily been two or three goals up if they had been more clinical. They had numerous chances in the first-half with most falling to star man Cristiano Roanldo who has also had a frustrating season having only scored four league goals so far. Villarreal's goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo was arguably the star of the show, until Fornals' goal in the second half, with the Spaniard making save after save to keep his side in it. His highlight coming at the end of the first half, when he made a fine reflex save to deny Ronaldo after he was put through by a beautiful pass by team-mate Isco.
However, Madrid did not have it all their own way with their Spanish opposition looking dangerous on the counter. It was in this exact manner which resulted in the shock goal. Pablo Fornals chipped Keylor Navas in a composed finish after the Costa Rican goalkeeper had saved the previous attempt from Enes Unal in the 86th minute of the game. It left the Bernabeu stunned and 'Los Blancos' could not find an equaliser in the dying moments of the game. The loss means that the Spanish giants miss the chance to close the gap on leaders Barcelona, who can extend the deficit to 19 points if they secure all three points away to Real Sociedad on Sunday.
Madrid remain in fifth, five points behind fourth-placed Valencia in the final Champions League place. Zidane will need to pick his players up again, otherwise they could do the unthinkable and fail to qualify for the competition they won only 7 months ago.