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Real Madrid v Villarreal Live Commentary, 21/09/2016

FT
1 - 1
RMA
VIL
Sergio Ramos (48)
Bruno (45+1 pen)
Estadio Santiago Bernabéu

Commentary

That's all for our live coverage from the Bernabeu. Thanks for following along. Goodbye!
Sergio Ramos pulled Real Madrid back to level terms early in the second half, but they couldn't find the breakthrough they needed as a sturdy Villarreal defence holds to prevent history from being made at the Bernabeu.
Zinedine Zidane's 16-match winning run in the league comes to an end as Bruno's first-half penalty is enough to ensure a share of the points and deny Real Madrid the record.
Carvajal
Yellow Card
Real Madrid
Protests continue and Carvajal is issued a yellow card AFTER the final whistle! You don't see that every day.
FULL-TIME: REAL MADRID 1-1 VILLARREAL.
Good bit of play from Pato to win a free-kick at the halfway line, and Real Madrid's discipline eludes them. They senselessly argue what's already done, running close to a full minute off the clock! Time is of the essence right now and they don't seem to realise that.
There will be a minimum of three minutes added on at the end of this match.
A. N'Diaye
J. dos Santos
Villarreal
Final change for the visitors as they try to run time off the clock. Alfred N'Diaye replaces Dos Santos.
ABSOLUTE CHAOS! Real Madrid throwing everything they have forward in search of the record and it has the Villarreal defence in a state of panic! Vazquez sees an effort impeccably blocked by Ruiz, before another deflection and a last-ditch challenge just manage to keep out Ramos and Morata!
STAT: Villarreal have conceded 44 goals, 2.75 per game on average, in their 16 games against Real Madrid away from home and have kept just one clean sheet.
SPLENDID HEADER! That was so nice from Morata it almost deserved a better fate, but it's not meant to be in the end as Asenjo does brilliantly to tip it over the bar following a cross in from Vazquez!
NEAR DISASTER! All the great work in defence nearly undone as Asenjo spills Kroos' shot back into the danger area, but manages to collect just ahead of Morata whose eyes lit up at the prospect of that chance.
Approaching the final 10 minutes now. Reinforcements have been made and teams prepared for the final push. It's so early in the season but it has the feel of a massive game given what's at stake.
Morata
K. Benzema
Real Madrid
A final roll of the dice for Zidane who goes in search of league win number 17. Alvaro Morata comes on in place on Benzema.
DEFLECTED OVER! Ronaldo tries his luck from over 30 yards and makes terrific contact with his effort, but it's blocked and sent behind for a corner.
T. Kroos
Yellow Card
Real Madrid
No doubt about this one from a remorseful Kroos who catches Samu with a cynical challenge, stopping the visitors from breaking. That's a yellow card for the midfielder.
Alexandre Pato
N. Sansone
Villarreal
Alexandre Pato enters the fray, replacing Sansone.
Lucas Vázquez
G. Bale
Real Madrid
Lucas Vazquez replaces Bale for the final 20 minutes.
STAT: Zinedine Zidane needs one win to overtake the longest winning streak in LaLiga, set by Pep Guardiola and Barcelona (17).
Cristiano Ronaldo
Yellow Card
Real Madrid
Ronaldo is booked for a clumsy and altogether reckless challenge on Bruno, and the two exchange a few words about it after the fact.
Straight at the keeper! Samu is full of confidence in attack, always keen to take on a defender. Another strong run gets him into a shooting position, but his final effort is sent right into the waiting arms of Casilla!
CLOSE! Great hold-up play from Benzema before rolling it our wide for Bale. The Welshman opens up and tries to slot in at the far corner, but his effort drifts just beyond the frame of the goal!
R. Soriano
D. Cheryshev
Villarreal
Villarreal make their first change of the night and it's ex-Madrid produce Cheryshev who is replaced by Roberto Soriano. He walks off to a warm ovation from the supporters of his former club.
SO, SO CLOSE! Ronaldo is at full-stretch to try and get on the end of Carvajal's delivery at the far post, but he just fails to get the decisive touch! He peels himself off the ground and is sporting a limp, though his body language suggests it's nothing to worry about.
We have reached the hour mark at the Bernabeu and it's perfectly poised! If the last 15 minutes are anything to go by, we are on hand for a terrific finish in the Spanish capital.
Successive corners for the hosts as panic starts to set into the Villarreal defence. They're coming under loads of pressure and it's starting to take a toll on the back four. This stadium is absolutely buzzing!
STAT: Villarreal have never won a league game at Santiago Bernabeu (P16 D4 L12).
PENALTY APPEALS DENIED! Another shout for handball as Trigueros strips Varane of possession before seeing his shot blocked inside the area, but this time the referee turns aside claims for a spot-kick. End-to-end action here in Madrid to start the second half!
Cote
Yellow Card
Villarreal
Angel is the first Villarreal player booked on the night as he's beaten for pace and trips up Bale on the right flank.
INCHES WIDE! Frantic action to start the half from the hosts, who must have been given some team talk! They're showing great urgency to take the lead for the first time, and nearly do through a Benzema header that sails just wide of the top corner.
Nothing like a bit of controversy! The deliberate nature of Ramos' handball inside the penalty area stirred up debate about his continued participation in the match. The intentional handling has prompted red on many occasions before, but not this time, and Ramos makes the most of his free pass to pull Madrid level!
Sergio Ramos
Goal
Real Madrid
REDEMPTION FOR RAMOS! The centre-half atones for his handball at the end of the first half with a terrific headed goal at the start of the second to pull Real Madrid back on level terms. He rose above Mario to knock that one in at the far post!
J. Rodríguez
Assist
Real Madrid
James provided the delivery and is credited with the assist.
Back underway in Madrid...
HALF-TIME: REAL MADRID 0-1 VILLARREAL. Zidane's record is on the ropes as Bruno's penalty gives the Yellow Submarine the lead after 45 minutes. It's nothing more than they deserve for a very strong spell to close out the half, rewarded for their initiative. Real Madrid have their work cut out for them as they search for a 17th successive league win.
Bruno
Penalty Goal
Villarreal
GOAAAAAAL FOR VILLARREAL! Bruno converts the Panenka penalty and the visitors steal the lead before half-time!
Sergio Ramos
Yellow Card
Real Madrid
PENALTY TO REAL MADRID! Samu's shot from outside the area is blocked by the hand of Ramos and the referee doesn't hesitate in pointing to the spot! It was intentional and obvious from the centre-half, who is lucky to only see yellow.
Carvajal
Marcelo
Real Madrid
Daniel Carvajal replaces Marcelo.
OH MY! It should unquestionably be 1-0 to Villarreal! A giveaway sees them forward three against one. Bruno has options to either side, and winds up picking out Cheryshev on the left, who has nothing but daylight in front of him. Instead of having a shot, however, he tries to cut it back and the move is broken up!
This is a good spell from the visitors towards the end of the half. Another strong move sees them win a corner, but Real Madrid manage to clear the threat. Meanwhile, Marcelo has gone down with an injury and Carvajal is up in a hurry to get warm. This might end the Brazilian's night.
HAD TO BE BETTER! Real Madrid carved apart by a swift counter from the visitors. A throughball sends Sansone behind the defence, but a heavy touch from the striker takes him wide of the goal, before his ambitious cutback is intercepted and cleared. He really had to be getting a shot off there from in close.
DECENT HIT! Frustration builds as Real Madrid struggle to find a way through, prompting Bale to take matters into his own hands. The Welshman finds a decent pocket of space from about 25 yards, turns and unloads an effort towards the far post, and he doesn't miss by much.
Villarreal are growing in confidence, pressing high up the pitch with Real Madrid in possession. The hosts are struggling a great deal to pick out any real incisive passes. It's all a bit too pedestrian from them at the moment.
STAT: Samu Castillejo has won the most fouls in LaLiga this season (14).
Ronaldo has abandoned his position on the left flank to drift into a more central role. He finds space to meet Marcelo's cross in and send a decent header at goal, but Asenjo plucks it off the line. It wouldn't have counted anyhow, as Ronaldo is penalised for a foul on Angel in the air.
How special would that have been?! Sansone peels off his marker at the far post just enough to get on the end of a delivery in from the right. It's at a bit of an awkward height, so he goes for the spectacular overhead kick, but his effort is blocked behind!
Tidy interplay in attack from Villarreal! It's a rare foray into the final third for the visitors, but a good one at that. Cheryshev gets on the end of a crafty move forward, but his shot is tipped over the bar by Casilla!
The visitors are dropping deeper and deeper in defence as they come under intensified pressure. Still, however, the likes of Ronaldo and Bale are struggling to find any time and space on the ball. They're struggling to find the breakthrough they so desperately crave.
Benzema is proving himself a real nuisance in the air. The striker is showing wonderful determination to get on the end of every ball sent his direction, and it's caused a bit of panic in the Villarreal defence. Another good attempt on the end of a corner forces Asenjo into a save.
STAT: Real Madrid failed to score in three home LaLiga games last season, as many as in the prior five seasons combined.
Villarreal need to be crisper with their passing in transition. They're too inconsistent on the ball thus far and it's plagued their ability to get after the hosts on the counter, and as a result they're starting to get hemmed in at the back.
SAVED OFF THE LINE! Bale chips a decent delivery towards the far post for Benzema, but there's still plenty of work to be done. The striker incredibly manages to rise above both Musacchio and Bruno to get on the end of it, but Asenjo flies through the air to parry his header off the line!
Still just a quarter of an hour gone, but Villarreal are looking excellent at the back. They move very well off the ball and everyone is buying into their defensive approach, which has helped to frustrate the hosts up to this point.
There continues to be a good tempo about the match, though the hosts are starting to impose themselves a bit more as Villarreal endure longer spells between their glimpses of possession. Still no clear-cut chances for either side, however, or even a half-chance, for that matter.
STAT: Real Madrid have won seven home league matches in a row, scoring an average of four goals per game.
Ronaldo has hardly seen much of the ball of yet, and grown tired of waiting out on the left. He drops off about 20 yards from Benzema and Bale into a central position to get in possession close to the halfway line, before spraying a tidy ball out to the right flank for Danilo. The subsequent cross is good, but Asenjo collects.
This has been a lovely spell from Villarreal on the ball. They have not created anything as of yet, but have been working it around near the halfway line for the greater part of the last few minutes, managing to keep Real Madrid at arm's length. Of course when the hosts do win it back, they're forward in a flash and win a corner.
There's a nice shape about Villarreal off the ball, however, as they look to keep the hosts on the periphery. Bruno is playing in a deeper role in midfield, acting as the pivot with his side in possession, and is doing a wonderful job with distribution as well.
Positive start from the hosts as they chase the record. There's a great width about them moving forward, with the likes of Danilo and Marcelo incredibly active on the overlap in the opening minutes. Villarreal have yet to have more than a touch or two of the ball.
AND WE'RE OFF! Real Madrid get us underway, attacking left to right in all white, with Villarreal in all yellow.
Three changes for the visitors following their victory over Sociedad on Sunday. Jonathan Dos Santos and Denis Cheryshev come into attack at the expense of Roberto Soriano and Alexandre Pato, as Nicola Sansone leads the line on his own. Juame Costa is given a rest as Jose Angel comes in at left-back.
Luka Modric is rested, while Pepe and Casemiro recover from knocks, paving the way for Mateo Kovavic, Raphael Varane and Toni Kroos to come into the starting line-up. Danilo also gets the start ahead of Daniel Carvajal.
The cavalry is back for Real Madrid as they chase the record tonight, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale returning to the starting XI after being rested against Espanyol. Their arrival forces Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio to the bench as two of six changes made by Zidane tonight.
SUBS: N'Diaye, Pato, Juame, Alvaro, Fernandez, Soriano, Borre.
VILLARREAL (4-2-3-1): Asenjo; Mario, Musacchio, Ruiz, Angel; Trigueros, Bruno; Dos Santos, Samu, Cheryshev; Sansone.
SUBS: Carvajal, Nacho, Vazquez, Asensio, Morata, Isco, Yanez.
REAL MADRID (4-3-3): Casilla; Danilo, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Kovacic, Kroos, James; Bale, Ronaldo, Benzema.
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
Villarreal started the season poorly, drawing their first two league matches while being ousted from the Champions League by Monaco. Fran Escriba’s men have shown great resiliency to bounce back, however, winning three on the spin since as they come into the Spanish capital tonight hoping to spoil Real Madrid’s perfect start.
There will be added motivation for the hosts tonight. Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid will surpass Barcelona's record of 16 straight LaLiga victories under Pep Guardiola if they beat Villarreal this evening.
Real Madrid have enjoyed a perfect start to the season, while their main rivals Barcelona and Atletico have already slipped up. The defending Champions League winners sit atop LaLiga through four matches, but there’s still a long way to go as they search for a first league title since the 2011/12 season.
Hello and welcome to live coverage from the Santiago Bernabeu as Real Madrid play host to Villarreal in this tantalising midweek league fixture, on what could be a record-setting night in the Spanish capital!