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Key Events

90' + 1'
Jaume Costa
Yellow Card
89'
Sergio Ramos
Yellow Card
86'
Vinícius Júnior
T. Kroos
82'
Pablo Fornals
Assist
82'
Santi Cazorla
Goal
82'
Trigueros
Javi Fuego
68'
C. Bacca
Gerard Moreno
64'
F. Valverde
L. Modrić
63'
K. Toko Ekambi
S. Cáseres
Kick Off
46'
Isco
G. Bale
45'
Álvaro González
Yellow Card
41'
Casemiro
Yellow Card
20'
T. Kroos
Assist
20'
R. Varane
Goal
7'
K. Benzema
Goal
7'
Lucas Vázquez
Assist
4'
S. Chukwueze
Assist
4'
Santi Cazorla
Goal
Kick Off
3
2
3
2

Stats

Possession
% %
3
2
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 4 7
Total Passes 539 629

Commentary

Both teams are back in LaLiga action this coming weekend as Madrid host Real Sociedad and Villarreal travel to Eibar. Until then however, thank you for joining us – and have a great week!
Santi Cazorla is the hero for Villarreal as his double ensures that the hosts take a point away from an enthralling encounter with Real Madrid. Santiago Solari’s side, playing for the first time since the Club World Cup, went behind early on but responded quickly to end the first half on top through Karim Benzema and Raphael Varane. But Luis Garcia’s side never gave up and they earn what could be a vital reward in their battle to avoid the drop. Full-time in LaLiga, it finishes Villarreal 2-2 Real Madrid.
90' + 3' FULL-TIME: VILLARREAL 2-2 REAL MADRID
90' + 2' Another Villarreal breakaway! The hosts successfully defend Madrid’s set-piece and speed away – only for the referee to penalise Toko Ekembi for a foul in the visitors’ box as he tries to cut around Varane!
Jaume Costa
Yellow Card
Villarreal
90' + 1' Costa now gets a booking for a foul on Carvajal and Madrid have a set-piece chance of their own.
90' The hosts can’t convert it into anything worthwhile though and the opportunity slips away. There will be three added minutes for either side to find a winner.
Sergio Ramos
Yellow Card
Real Madrid
89' Ramos comes in heavy on Bacca 35 yards out from the Madrid goal and Villarreal have a set-piece chance on the right wing, with the Los Blancos captain shown a yellow card.
Vinícius Júnior
T. Kroos
Real Madrid
86' Madrid make their final change, throwing on Vinicius Junior to replace Kroos.
85' Save by Asenjo! Isco launches an absolute thunderbolt of a strike from the right edge of the box, 15 yards out or so, and the keeper holds his nerve to stop it in its tracks.
84' End-to-end stuff once more as Isco sees an attempt blocked and Bacca is then caught offside from another pacey counter-move from the hosts.
Pablo Fornals
Assist
Villarreal
82' Madrid look a little gobsmacked by that. Fornals did great work to keep himself onside in the build-up too, following another swift counter-attack from his team.
Santi Cazorla
Goal
Villarreal
82' CAZORLA AT THE DOUBLE! 2-2! Villarreal are back on level pegging with a close-range header from the man who ensured they started this game in such brilliant fashion. Fornals delivers the pass to find him near the right post and the home crowd erupts!
Trigueros
Javi Fuego
Villarreal
82' Villarreal make their final change with Trigueros replacing Fuego.
81' Some sensational breakaway play from Villarreal sends Madrid backpedalling at a fair clip, and they arrive in time to throw off Cazorla as he looks to cross, with the latter sticking his effort wildly out for a goal-kick.
78' Carvajal concedes a Villarreal corner, before redeeming himself with a deft clearance in the box. Madrid’s defence has been pretty equal to the task of Villarreal’s spirit in this second half.
75' Villarreal have only picked up 15 points in 16 games in LaLiga this season, their joint-worst start at this stage in the top-flight alongside the 2011-12 season, when they were relegated.
72' Madrid look to break down the other end but Isco’s throughball catches Benzema offside.
71' Gonzalez! The Villarreal man rises for the set-piece and tucks it the wrong side of the right post.
70' Chukwueze nips into the box and slams a shot off Ramos, winning a corner after being unable to get the ball around the Madrid captain.
C. Bacca
Gerard Moreno
Villarreal
68' Villarreal make their second change, bringing on Bacca for Moreno up front.
66' Vazquez! That should have been 3-1 and the game for Madrid there as a defensive snafu lets the striker through, one-on-one into the box with Asenjo. The keeper makes himself as wide as possible though and delivers the save.
64' Chance for Moreno! He slices his shot wide of the left post from close-range for Villarreal. The hosts are continuing to grow in confidence.
F. Valverde
L. Modrić
Real Madrid
64' Madrid make their second change of the game, replacing Modric with Valverde.
K. Toko Ekambi
S. Cáseres
Villarreal
63' Villarreal make their first change of the game, introducing Toko Ekambi for Caseres.
62' Ruiz rises up to meet another set-piece in the middle of the box and puts his looping header wide to the left of the net.
61' Back-to-back corners for Villarreal now yield no great chances either, with a penalty shout for a foul on Moreno also waved down by the referee.
59' Both sets of players come together now following a foul by Carvajal on Costa, as in the aftermath, the Villarreal man pushes Benzema. The referee defuses the situation and the hosts have a free-kick inside their own half.
57' Villarreal are yet to carve themselves out a clear-cut chance in this second half, despite the fact they’re pushing up stronger down the wings in an attempt to pepper the Madrid box.
55' There’s an absolutely furious response from the home crowd after Layun is brought down in midfield and the referee keeps play rolling. Kroos looked to be the man who committed the foul, and it goes unpunished in this instance.
53' Villarreal have won two of their last six games against Madrid in LaLiga, as many wins as they recorded in their previous 30 matches in the competition
50' Back-to-back chances from outside the box for the visitors as Vazquez sees an effort blocked and Benzema then puts the rebound around the wrong side of the right post.
48' An exchange of early fouls between Chukwueze and Benzema suggests a niggly twitchiness between both sides still remains. Madrid aren’t fully comfortable with their lead, especially with Villarreal still in the hunt.
46' We’re back underway for the second half in this LaLiga clash. Will Villarreal be able to best Los Blancos, or will the visitors retain their lead?
Isco
G. Bale
Real Madrid
46' Madrid make their first change of the game, replacing Bale with Isco after that injury to the former.
Gareth Bale looks to have been carrying a little bit of a knock late on in the first half there. Will he reappear after the break or will Santiago Solari not risk him further?
The Champions League holders are on top in this tie as expected – but they’ve not had the easiest of rides so far. Karim Benzema’s header was needed in quick order to cancel out Santi Cazorla’s wonderful opener and then Raphael Varane added another to give them the lead. It’s been a fast-paced game so far though, and Los Blancos aren’t out of the woods yet. At half-time, it’s Villarreal 1-2 Real Madrid.
45' + 3' HALF-TIME: VILLARREAL 1-2 REAL MADRID
45' + 2' Fornals tries from distance in the second minute of injury time, but can only watch as his shot takes a block off Varane. 
Álvaro González
Yellow Card
Villarreal
45' Gonzalez gets a booking now for a late challenge on Benzema, though there appears to be some discussion as to whether the Madrid man simulated his fall or not.
43' This is becoming a little bit of a nip-and-tuck encounter, with both sides tackling with a rather uneven approach despite the relatively free-flowing nature of play, as Carvajal avoids a yellow for a foul.
Casemiro
Yellow Card
Real Madrid
41' Casemiro doesn’t come in so much as late in a tackle as he makes what appears to be a deliberate trip. The referee pulls both cards out of his pocket – and it’s a yellow that is ultimately brandished to the Madrid man for his indiscretion.
39' The game resumes with Bale alright to continue for now. Whatever the issue is, that could prompt a swap at half-time from his coach, with a Copa del Rey clash looming in the coming days.
37' The Welshman now goes down a second time for Madrid and play is brought to a halt after he stays on the turf. It’s not too clear what’s going on with Bale, but physios are flocking to him.
35' Bale goes over in a challenge and although he’s back on his feet quickly enough, he’s got a grimace plastered across his face. That could be concerning for the visitors if it turns out to be something.
33' Modric thinks he’s made it 3-1 – but he’s offside! The Croatia captain taps in a rebound following a save from Asenjo, looking to stop a shot from Kroos, only for him to have been ahead of the defence at the time of the first strike.
32' Benzema picks up a pass from Bale and looks to whip a shot in, though Ruiz gets his body in the way to block it and send the ball arcing off into open play.
30' Garcia’s side have shown enterprise and spirit so far since going down too. At times this season, they’ve folded – but a visit from one of the heavy hitters in LaLiga seems to be bringing out the best in them.
28' It’s a poor set-piece from the hosts and Varane clears it easily enough.
27' Chukwueze! Latching onto a short-range cross, the Villarreal man sees his shot from the centre of the box take a ricochet off a defender for a corner.
26' Bale pounds a left-footer in from outside the box. It’s a speculative effort at best and Asenjo is untroubled by it.
24' Kroos and Modric are delivering the goods so far out wide for Madrid, though Casemiro is looking a touch uneven. He’s not playing poorly, it must be said – but given Llorente’s rise to form in recent months, he does lack a little bit of that zip so far.
22' Moreno almost draws it level for Villarreal after the hosts pick up a set-piece chance of their own. They play it unorthodoxly short on the left wing from 35 yards out before a reverse cross from Cazorla finds the striker in the middle of the box. His header goes straight to Courtois though and the keeper makes no mistake.
T. Kroos
Assist
Real Madrid
20' Kroos could have found any number of attackers around the box there, with an excellent delivery that caught the Villarreal defence short. Great stuff from the midfielder.
R. Varane
Goal
Real Madrid
20' VARANE WITH THE HEADER FOR MADRID! 2-1! The visitors hit the front for the first time as the defender rises up to meet the set-piece from Kroos and put a bouncing header into the bottom-right corner past Asenjo. It’s a textbook finish and one sure to settle the nerves for Los Blancos.
19' The visitors pick up a free-kick now, around 35 yards or so out on the right wing after Carvajal is fouled by Cazorla. Kroos will be the man to take it for Madrid.
17' A breakaway from Villarreal! Layun smashes a shot into a defender as he tries to go from distance, following some swift counter-attacking football.
15' Asenjo blocks a Vazquez effort on the edge of his six-yard box and Madrid win a corner, though they fail to convert it into a credible chance.
12' No team has won more games (21) and scored more goals (75) against Villarreal than Madrid in LaLiga history, before today's match.
10' Benzema comes again now, this time with a more speculative header from distance near the edge of the box. It sails wide of the left post in the end, with a looping trajectory that puts it out of the goalkeeper’s reach.
8' It was looking so rosy for Villarreal after that early pressure too. But with their first serious attack of the game, the Champions League holders have cut through them like a hot knife through butter.
K. Benzema
Goal
Real Madrid
7' BENZEMA LEVELS FOR MADRID! 1-1! Vazquez is slipped through on the right wing and he squares a cross back inside. The striker is lurking in the middle of the box and it's a deft header to finish off. The referee initially nixes the goal for offside but then lets it stand a moment later. All square again!
Lucas Vázquez
Assist
Real Madrid
7' Assist Lucas Vázquez Iglesias
5' That’s a shock to the system for Madrid in their first game since becoming club world champions. They’ll be looking for a fast response after that.
S. Chukwueze
Assist
Villarreal
4' Chukwueze could have gone for goal himself there, with a clear shot between two defenders. In playing it across though, he drew them tighter in the box, allowing his team-mate to exploit the space made available.
Santi Cazorla
Goal
Villarreal
4' CAZORLA FOR VILLARREAL! 1-0! Sensational stuff from the hosts to go up inside the first five minutes! A collection of crossfield passes catches Madrid out on the attack and Chukwueze slips a neat throughball into the left of the box. Cazorla’s finish is the cherry on top though, a beautifully curled shot that skims into the far-bottom corner past Courtois’ outstretched hands.
2' Early chance for the hosts! Chukwueze races down the right wing, into the box and fires a close-range effort at Courtois that the keeper neatly parries.
1' We are underway in this LaLiga clash between Villarreal and Real Madrid!
The teams are out and we’re moments away from kick-off.
Villarreal have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 10 LaLiga games, their worst such run in a single top-flight season since January 2009.
Subs: Vinicius Junior, Dani Ceballos, Federico Valverde, Sergio Reguilon, Nacho, Isco, Keylor Navas.
REAL MADRID (4-3-3): Thibaut Courtois; Daniel Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Toni Kroos, Casemiro, Luka Modric; Lucas Vazquez, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale.
Subs: Alfonso Pedraza, Andres Fernandez, Karl Toko Ekambi, Carlos Bacca, Manu Trigueros, Manuel Morlanes, Ramiro Funes Mori.
VILLARREAL (4-1-3-2): Sergio Asenjo; Miguel Layun, Alvaro Gonzalez, Víctor Ruiz, Jaume Costa; Javi Fuego; Santiago Caseres, Pablo Fornals, Santi Cazorla; Samuel Chukwueze, Gerard Moreno.
Madrid have been forced into just the one change from their Club World Cup win over Al Ain last time out as Casemiro comes into midfield for the injured Marcos Llorente. Miguel Layun comes into Villarreal's starting XI following Mario's red card against Huesca.
Luis Garcia’s side will still feel that they will be able to haul themselves free of the dogfight at the bottom however. Perched in 18th, this spare match could see them overtake Athletic Bilbao with a win and get out of the bottom three. Could they spring an upset?
Santiago Solari’s side sit eight points off league leaders Barcelona as they look to close the gap – and this game in hand, thanks to their Club World Cup appearance, gives them prime opportunity, especially against a relegation-threatened host.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the 2018-19 LaLiga campaign as Real Madrid return from their mid-season break with a trip to Villarreal.
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