Real Madrid faced Villarreal away from home in a crucial La Liga match on Saturday, January 7th. The focus for Real Madrid was to stay at the top of the table, as they currently sit second in the league standings.
During the match at Estadio de la Cerámica stadium, Villarreal displayed strong play in the first half, employing high pressing tactics which made it difficult for Carlo Ancelotti’s team to respond.
Just after the second half began, Villarreal secured the lead with a strike from Yeremy Pino. During the 57th minute of the game, Real Madrid was awarded a penalty due to a handball committed by Foyth. VAR was called upon to review the play. After the review, Karim Benzema took the penalty kick and scored, tying the game at the one hour mark by successfully deceiving the opposing goalkeeper, Pepe Reina.
In the 62nd minute, Alaba committed a handball and Villarreal was awarded a penalty. Moreno converted the kick and sent Courtois the wrong way, reclaiming the lead for Villarreal.
Both teams had numerous opportunities to score following the 2-1 scoreline, but neither team was able to find the back of the net again.
Despite putting forth their best effort, Real Madrid were unable to score a goal due to Villarreal’s strong defense, resulting in a victory for Villarreal. This means that if Barcelona defeats Atletico Madrid in their next match, they will have the opportunity to move three points ahead in the standings.
Real Madrid has not won a match at the Estadio de la Cerámica since 2017, and they will have to play Villarreal again at this stadium in the Copa Del Rey Round of 16.