Real Madrid went into the game knowing that a win would put them just two points behind Barcelona. For Villarreal, there was a good chance to cause an upset and move themselves up the top half of the table.
Real dominated large parts of the first half but Villarreal managed to get a goal, which kept them in the game. However, the Real pressure was all too much and further chances in the second half made the away team’s task too difficult.
Real quickly got on the ball and started playing some good passes around the midfield. Kaka nearly played in Ronaldo but a defender got across to cover at the vital moment.
Ronaldo quickly drifted out to the right wing. He played a good sequence of passes with Arbeloa before a defender came in and committed the foul. It was clear that Villarreal would need to be patient and soak up a lot of pressure.
Higuain was the next to find himself in a good position but the Real striker lost control at the vital moment. He found himself in space in the 10th minute but the ball got away from him just as he looked as though he was going to bury it.
Real were controlling the game. Kaka played a dangerous ball into the heart of the Villarreal box after winning it back but there was no one willing to gamble and take what would have been an easy tap in.
It was Real who deservingly took the lead inside 20 minutes. Ronaldo smashed in a free kick after he had won himself a free kick. It quickly looked as though it could be a long night for the visitors.
The home side then doubled their lead a couple of minutes later. Higuain went down inside the area and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. Kaka stepped up to convert from twelve yards as the game looked like it could end up being a cricket score.
Ronaldo should have made it 3-0 when Higuain did well to find space and cut the ball back. The Real star connected with the ball but it flew wide of the goal when it looked easier to score.
Villarreal did not let their heads drop and pulled a goal back through Senna. He was fouled just outside the area, picked himself up and curled the ball beautifully beyond Casillas. There was still hope.
The goal gave the away team a lift and Senna nearly played a perfect ball through the heart of the Real defence. Arbeloa reacted quickly to get out and make sure Senna had no time to complete the move.
Ronaldo looked like a threat every time he got on the ball. With five minutes of the first half left, he beat players down the right before squaring to Kaka. The Brazilian leaned back slightly and sent his shot over the cross bar. Another great Real chance for a third goal passed.
The second half started in much the same way as the first. Marcelo bombed on from the right back position but was stopped in his tracks as Real players started to flood into the box.
Real could have been accused of trying to be a little too clever when the game was still in the balance. Higuain and Ronaldo combined well before the latter tried an elaborate back heel, which went right into the path of the defender who cleared.
However, Higuain quickly made up for this when he scored Real’s third. The striker ghosted into the box and tapped the ball in after a low and quick Ronaldo cross from the right hand side.
The goal seemed to signal a slight easing of Real pressure. Pires and Capdevila played a lovely inter change of passes before Ramos recovered at right back to send the ball slamming out of play for a corner.
Real still had quality all over the park. Ronaldo made a storming run as the last 20 minutes approached. The Portuguese pushed back the Villarreal defence and the over hit a cross when a shot seemed the better option. Ronaldo was then played clean through by Marcelo but the goalkeeper got down well to save with his legs.
Villarreal’s Nilmar made Real pay for not making the most of their pressure. Pires made a decent run and squared for the attacking player who only had to pass the ball past Casillas and into the Real net to make it 3-2.
However, this threat of a come back was short lived when Higuain grabbed his second to re-establish Real’s two goal advantage. Real put together an Arsenal-esque perfect passing attacking move. Higuain just had to tap the ball into an empty net from close range.
Kaka added a fifth to secure the win and three points for Real. Ronaldo played a neat ball into the path of a sprinting Kaka who slotted the ball beyond the onrushing goalkeeper and into the net.For good measure Xabi Alonso slotted in a sixth from the penalty spot after Ronaldo was fouled by Pires. It really was a vintage display of attacking football from Real Madrid and the visitors just had no answer despite showing a good amount of fight and determination.