Villarreal grab deserved win over tired Real Madrid in LaLiga


A second-half penalty from Gerard Moreno noticed Real Madrid crushed 2-1 at Villarreal on Saturday to depart Madrid stage on factors with Barcelona on the prime of LaLiga forward of Barca’s journey to Atletico Madrid on Sunday.

– Report: Villarreal 2-1 Real Madrid | LaLiga desk | LaLiga outcomes, fixtures

Yeremy Pino put Villarreal forward on 47 minutes earlier than two penalties in three minutes — each for handball — had been awarded by referee Cesar Soto Grado. Karim Benzema transformed his spot kick after Juan Foyth dealt with inside the world earlier than David Alaba was additionally penalised, giving Moreno the prospect to place the house aspect again in entrance.

JUMP TO: Player ratings | Best/worst performers | Highlights and notable moments | Postmatch quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures

Rapid response

1. No Madrid disaster but, however defeat comes at a foul time

There’s no disgrace in shedding away at Villarreal: in spite of everything, Real Madrid have not gained on the La Ceramica stadium since 2017. But the timing and method of this defeat may simply set some alarm bells ringing on the Bernabeu. Madrid had been solely narrowly outplayed on Saturday — Villarreal edged the sport on xG (2.94 to 2.02), pictures (17 to 12) and pictures heading in the right direction (5 to three), with Madrid having marginally extra possession — however no person might actually argue that Villarreal did not deserve their victory following an exhilarating, end-to-end contest.

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In what’s shaping as much as be a decent title race — Madrid and Barcelona each locked on 38 factors forward of Barca’s journey to Atletico Madrid on Sunday — any dropped factors are trigger for concern, and this defeat comes forward of a punishing schedule. Madrid journey to Saudi Arabia subsequent week for the Spanish Supercopa, they usually’ll be again at La Ceramica in 10 days’ time in the Copa del Rey spherical of 16. Madrid’s subsequent LaLiga video games are a troublesome away journey to Athletic Club, and internet hosting in-form Real Sociedad in the final recreation this month, plus the Club World Cup in Morocco on the horizon in early February.

A defeat for Barca at Atletico would calm some nerves, however a win for Madrid’s rivals would put Xavi’s crew again in the driving force’s seat in the title race.

2. Madrid’s non-Spanish XI displays altering occasions

Real Madrid made historical past earlier than Saturday’s recreation had even kicked off, with coach Carlo Ancelotti choosing a beginning XI with out a single Spanish-born participant for the primary time for the reason that membership’s basis in 1902. With Dani Carvajal injured and Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez on the bench, the crew featured three French gamers (Ferland Mendy, Aurelien Tchouameni and Karim Benzema), two Germans (Toni Kroos and Antonio Rudiger), two Brazilians (Eder Militao and Vinicius Junior), a Belgian (Thibaut Courtois), an Austrian (David Alaba), a Belgian (Thibaut Courtois) and a Uruguayan (Federico Valverde).

In some ways, that is merely a mirrored image of an more and more globalised recreation, the place an elite membership like Madrid can goal the world’s finest gamers. But it is also a stark reminder of how a membership that, for a few years, was synonymous with the nationwide crew — led, in fact, by long-time Madrid and Spain captain Sergio Ramos — is at the moment a bit-part participant in terms of Spain. Only Carvajal and Asensio had been current in Luis Enrique’s 26-man squad on the World Cup.

This wasn’t the primary time Madrid have had 11 non-Spanish gamers out on the pitch on the identical time — they ended a 2-1 Champions League defeat to Sheriff Tiraspol like that on Sept. 28, 2021 — however they’ve by no means earlier than began that approach.

In some ways, it is a consequence of the membership’s switch coverage in current years. The final Spanish first-team signing was Brahim Diaz in January 2019. Since then, Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy, Eder Militao, Rodrygo Goes, David Alaba, Eduardo Camavinga, Antonio Rudiger and Aurelien Tchouameni have all come in. And with England’s Jude Bellingham being focused for subsequent summer season and Brazil’s Endrick Felipe due in 2024, it is a pattern that is set to proceed.

3. Quique Setien’s Villarreal begin to take form

Villarreal’s transition from Unai Emery to Quique Setien — after Emery give up in October to take cost at Aston Villa — was by no means going to be straightforward. The two coaches are radically completely different in model and philosophy, with Emery prioritising defensive solidity and pacey attacking transitions, and Setien favouring a extra affected person, possession-based method.

Setien’s debut run of fixtures could not have gone a lot worse. A run of 4 video games with out a win sparked rumours that he is perhaps fired simply two weeks after taking over. But issues have settled down since then, the World Cup break got here at a very good time — giving Setien precious coaching floor time with the gamers left behind — and this was Villarreal’s finest efficiency but below the brand new boss.

The return of Gerard Moreno is essential in that regard. Moreno, who may simply be Spain’s finest ahead and was sorely missed by the nationwide crew in Qatar, was absent from September till November with a hamstring drawback. On this proof, he is again to his finest, a relentless menace for the Real Madrid defence, and that is nice information for Setien and Villarreal. A prime 4 end should not be out of the query given the standard of their squad.

Player scores

Villarreal: Pepe Reina 7; Juan Foyth 6, Raul Albiol 8, Pau Torres 7, Alberto Moreno 7; Francis Coquelin 7, Dani Parejo 8, Alex Baena 7; Samu Chukwueze 7, Yeremy Pino 7, Gerard Moreno 8.
Subs: Alfonso Pedraza 6, Jose Luis Morales 6, Arnaut Danjuma 6, Manuel Trigueros 6.

Real Madrid: Thibaut Courtois 7; Eder Militao 7, Antonio Rudiger 6, David Alaba 6, Ferland Mendy 5; Aurelien Tchouameni 5, Toni Kroos 7, Luka Modric 6; Fede Valverde 6, Vinicius Junior 6, Karim Benzema 7.
Subs: Rodrygo Goes 6, Lucas Vazquez 6, Eduardo Camavinga 6, Marco Asensio 6.

Best and worst performers

BEST: Gerard Moreno, Villarreal

His clever motion made him a nightmare for Madrid to cope with. Some wonderful touches in the second half. Went off to a standing ovation.

WORST: Ferland Mendy, Real Madrid

Gave away the ball for Villarreal’s opener and was subbed off by Ancelotti when Madrid went 2-1 down.

Highlights and notable moments

The Yellow Submarine are at all times laborious to interrupt down at dwelling and Saturday proved no completely different as they took down the defending LaLiga champions on Saturday. Their first aim, from Pino proper after half-time, was pretty too…

Real Madrid fought again however Villarreal held on for a well-known win and definitely did not waste any time having fun with the post-match vibes…

… and attending to the locker room to really have fun.

After the match: What the gamers/managers mentioned

Postmatch quotes will seem right here…

Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Information analysis)

  • Villarreal: First win vs Real Madrid in LaLiga since 2018, snapping a streak of 9 LaLiga video games with out a win vs. Madrid. (It was the membership’s longest energetic winless run vs a single opponent in LaLiga.)

  • Yeremy Pino (Villarreal): His forty seventh minute aim snapped a streak of 19 video games with out scoring for Villarreal in all competitions. (It was his first aim since Aug. 21.)

  • Gerard Moreno (Villarreal): His final 2 targets with Villarreal had been by way of penalty kick. Prior to that, he had scored 6 straight non PK targets. Also, Saturday marked his second profession game-winning aim in LaLiga vs. Real Madrid, having beforehand completed it in 2018 with a 93rd minute aim.

  • Karim Benzema (Real Madrid): His sixtieth minute penalty was his 227th profession aim in LaLiga, tying Alfredo Di Stéfano (227) for sixth and placing him only one shy of Raúl González (228) for fifth on the all-time LaLiga prime scorers record

  • Real Madrid: Lost three of their final eight video games in all competitions after beginning the season unbeaten in their first 16

Up subsequent

Villarreal: The “Yellow Submarine” will not have lengthy to take pleasure in this outcome, as they face a visit to Celta Vigo (Jan. 13) on Friday, adopted by a Copa del Rey date with a well-recognized opponent, Real Madrid, on Wednesday, Jan. 18.

Real Madrid: Carlo Ancelotti’s aspect face a trickier run of video games given their participation in the Spanish Super Cup in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, subsequent week. Their subsequent recreation is the Super Cup semifinal in opposition to Valencia (Wednesday, Jan. 11) and, in the event that they win that, they’d have the ultimate in opposition to Barcelona or Real Betis on Sunday, Jan. 15. From there, a fast journey dwelling earlier than the Copa del Rey spherical of 16 recreation in opposition to Villarreal on Jan. 18. Phew!


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