Real Madrid 0 Villarreal 1

Lynette Rowe
January 14, 2018

After the break, Villarreal nearly netted themselves, but Denis Cheryshev - formerly of Real Madrid - dragged his shot wide of the post.

Real had almost triple the amount of shots on goal as Villarreal and also had Cristiano Ronaldo hit the woodwork twice at a rainswept Santiago Bernabeu, but Pablo Fornals's 87th minute strike inflicted a third home defeat on the floundering champions this season. To be fair, Villarreal is sixth in the table and only four points back of the capital titans.

The match could have gone so differently for Real Madrid.

"We have to be smart in our judgment because they are the same players, the same trainer and the same philosophy", he added.

However, it was the visitors who broke the deadlock with three minutes remaining when Navas pushed Cheryshev's effort into the path of Pablo Fornals, who made no mistake from close range.

This was a season in which Madrid were supposed to dominate.

Speaking to BeIN Sports USA after the match, Kroos said, "We have to focus on qualifying for the Champions League next season".

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Valencia clung on to beat Deportivo La Coruna 2-1 away to tighten their grip on third place, moving eight points above Madrid although Zidane's side has a game in hand.

Villarreal, meanwhile, enjoyed their first ever victory at the Bernabeu and are now just a point behind fourth-placed Real.

Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, who missed the La Liga clash through injury, was also left red faced after being trolled on Twitter for donning a ridiculous blue outfit.

Ronaldo - Real's most likely scorer throughout - came closest on the 45-minute mark, but Asenjo's miraculous save kept the scores level at the interval. The fact Real Madrid is in this mess will be one of the most intriguing storylines in world soccer this spring.

Zinedine Zidane has raised alarm over negative things being said about his team in the buildup to Saturday's tie against Villarreal which Madrid surprising lost by a lone goal.

So while it's not appropriate to start counting Real Madrid out of the Champions League next year, it's becoming time to at least ask the question.

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