Gerard Moreno scored from the penalty spot to earn Villarreal a point against Real Madrid, with Zinedine Zidane’s side allowing three points to slip through their fingers.
The visitors to the Estadio de la Ceramica took the lead after just two minutes when Mariano Diaz headed home a Dani Carvajal cross. There were protests from the Villarreal players after the linesman flag was raised then dropped during the build-up, but the goal stood.
Real Madrid dominated the majority of the first half and had opportunities to extend their advantage. They were made to pay for this wastefulness in the second period, when Villarreal worked their way back into the contest as the Spanish champions grew weary.
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Thibaut Courtois gave Moreno the chance to level things from 12 yards out, bringing down Samuel Chukwueze inside the area. The Villarreal striker found the bottom corner of the net to earn a point for his side.
Takefusa Kubo was presented with a good opportunity to score a late winner against his parent club, but had his shot from a tight angle smothered by Courtois. The result keeps Villarreal in second place and Real Madrid in fourth place in the La Liga table.
TALKING POINT - Mariano Diaz proved a point to Zinedine Zidane
First team opportunities have been few and far between for Mariano since returning to the Santiago Bernabeu from Lyon, but the 27-year-old made a good impression here, scoring Real Madrid’s opener just two minutes into the match. Mariano was Los Blancos’ most effective and most dangerous player in the first half, doing more in 45 minutes than Luka Jovic has done in two seasons. Surely he has moved up the pecking order with this display?
MAN OF THE MATCH - Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal)
The dynamic of the game changed when Chukwueze was introduced off the bench for Villarreal. Real Madrid were starting to tire and the pace and directness of Chukwueze brutally exposed this, with the 21-year-old winning the penalty from which Moreno salvaged a point for the Yellow Submarine. Chukwueze is an incredible talent and this demonstrated what he offers, making a devastating impact against the Spanish champions.
Villarreal - Asenjo 5, Mario 5, Albiol 6, Torres 7, Pedraza 5, Parejo 6, Iborra 5, Trigueros 5, Gomez 6, Moreno 8, Bacca 6. Subs - Pena 5, Chukwueze 8, Estupinan 8, Kubo 6, Pino 5.
Real Madrid - Courtois 4, Carvajal 7, Nacho 5, Varane 6, Mendy 5, Kroos 5, Modric 7, Odegaard 5, Vazquez 6, Hazard 5, Mariano 8. Subs - Isco 5, Asensio 5, Vinicius 4.
2’ GOAL! Villarreal 0-1 Real Madrid: Controversy! The flag was raised when Carvajal played the pass in behind. However, the ball was blocked, it came back to the Real Madrid full back who found Mariano with a cross into the middle. The striker then glanced home a header and the goal stands!
74’ PENALTY KICK TO VILLARREAL! Courtois brings down Chukwueze and the referee has an easy decision! He points to the spot!
76’ GOAL! Villarreal 1-1 Real Madrid: Moreno steps up to the 12-yard mark and finds the bottom corner of the Real Madrid net! Courtois went the right way, but there was no way the Belgian goalkeeper was going to get there. Villarreal deserved that goal! They are back on level terms!
90+1’ Big chance for Kubo! What a story that would have been! The angle was a tight one for Kubo, but the opportunity was a good one! Courtois came off his line to smother the shot from the Japanese forward!
Mariano Diaz has scored 11 goals from 22 shots on target for Real Madrid in all competitions, scoring a goal every 90 minutes.
Real Madrid have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last eight games in all competitions.