Villarreal's second trip to Madrid ended in defeat, 3-0 to a Real Madrid side that has the bit between its teeth again, believing it can win La Liga. The final scoreline was flattering--the first half was pretty even and Madrid really didn't create that much--but there was only going to be one winner here.
The Submarine were happy to concede possession and look to create counterattacks, but most of the first half was spent in the Villarreal end and Modric and Kroos were excellent for Madrid in midfield. Just after the 40-minute mark Karim Benzema scored--a Ronaldo cross was palmed away only as far as Benzema, who did the rest. Right after that Denis Suarez had a great chance to level if he could have found a wide-open Cedric Bakambu, but he shot instead and Navas came off his line to make the save.
HT Real Madrid 1-0 Villarreal
It stayed that way until almost the 70-minute mark, when Lucas Vasquez broke into the box and lashed a shot past Asenjo at the near post. It was a nice run and a good shot, but Asenjo was partly to blame for that one I think, and suspect he will too. On the 75-minute mark Madrid added a third, Luka Modric with a fine finish, leaving his marker Rodri in the dust as he met a cross from Danilo.
The first half was not bad, but the second half we just didn't have the ability to keep Madrid from buzzing around goal. We missed Tomas Pina, we missed Ruiz and/or Musacchio. And probably Soldado as well. I guess Eric Bailly was the best player on the day, but unfortunately he didn't get a lot of help from Bonera at the other CB position. Only five shots, three from Denis Suarez, one each from Jona dos Santos and Samu Garcia, who returned to action for the first time in forever.
Good news as far as we were concerned in the other matches, though, with Sevilla losing away to SPorting and Athletic Club falling to Atletico Madrid.
We need a good performance in El MAdrigal on Sunday against Real Sociedad, both to ensure we finish fourth in the league and to give us some positives as we prepare to host Liverpool (who defeated Everton 4-0 today, but Origi was injured in the process).