Villarreal beats Real Madrid in an entertaining La Liga matchup just one week before their highly anticipated Champions League matchup against Chelsea. The Madrid team had an early lead, but were unable to hold it thanks to a spellbinding performance by Samuel Chukwueze. The contest was highlighted by Chukwueze’s brace, which overshadowed Real Madrid’s heroic comeback attempt. After this loss, Real Madrid is 12 points behind league-leading Barcelona, who will play Girona next.
Villarreal beats Real Madrid in a thrilling match
Real Madrid took an early lead on an own goal by Pau Torres, but Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze stole the show with a two-goal performance and the game-winning curling free kick. Real Madrid’s outstanding individual effort from Vinicius Junior wasn’t enough to earn them a draw. Carlo Ancelotti opted to rest several important players by making six changes to the starting lineup before Saturday’s match against Chelsea.
However, in an effort to take an early lead, the Italian coach kept the same starting lineup that included Karim Benzema, Rodrygo, and Vinicius. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois made two saves on Alex Baena, and veteran Pepe Reina stopped Benzema and Rodrygo twice for Villarreal. As a result of his exceptional brilliance, Chukwueze left Nacho Fernandez for dead and calmly finished past Courtois to tie the game.
Vinicius scored a wonderful goal for Real Madrid right after the break, showing off his dribbling talents by leaving Aissa Mandi for dead. Real Madrid had a chance to salvage a draw before Chukwueze scored his second of the game with a long-range curler that found the top corner. Late in the game, Real Madrid was awarded a penalty that was later overturned after review by VAR.
After this loss, Real Madrid is now 12 points behind leaders Barcelona in La Liga, effectively ending any chance they had of defending their title. Villarreal moved up to fifth place, passing Real Betis by two points. According to Coach Quique Setien, Chukwueze is a “outstanding player who is providing us a lot.” Lucas Vazquez, a defender for Real Madrid, admitted that the league is difficult but remained optimistic about his team’s chances of winning the Champions League and the Copa del Rey.