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LaLiga leaders settle for a share of the spoils at the Bernabéu

MATCH REPORT. 25/09/2021. Alberto Navarro. Photographer: Antonio Villalba, Helios de la Rubia and Víctor Carretero

Real Madrid went after a goal until the final minute but couldn't find a way past the Villarreal defence.

The LaLiga leaders were forced to settle for a draw at the Santiago Bernabéu. Real Madrid couldn't find a way past a solid Villarreal side, in a game that was split evenly between the two halves. The visitors enjoyed the better of the first period before Ancelotti's men came into the game in the second, fighting to the last to take the win. The first chance went the way of the team from Castellón following a fine move by Danjuma, who whipped in a shot from just inside the box but was denied by Courtois' superb diving stop on 13 minutes.

The Real Madrid response came swiftly from the boots of Karim Benzema. The competition's leading marksman unleashed a fierce drive from range on 21' which flew just wide of the target. Two minutes later, Rodrygo caught out the visiting defence with a cross-shot which forced Gerónimo Rulli to exhibit his impressive reactions. Before the half-time whistle was blown, the madridistas claimed a penalty to no avail when Nacho went down under challenge from Albiol.

Video.0-0: LaLiga leaders settle for a share of the spoils at the Bernabéu

At the half-time interval, Ancelotti introduced Eduardo Camavinga in place of Rodrygo and the madridistas came close to making the breakthrough on 50’, when Marco Asensio’s free-kick was met by Militão, who stole a march on everyone but failed to direct his bullet header on target. Five minutes later, a quick-fire counter-attack from the visitors culminated with Danjuma firing in an effort straight at Courtois. 

Villarreal again came close on 57’, when Juan Foyth nodded on a free-kick into the path of Paco Alcácer, whose first-time effort flashed narrowly past the upright. From that point on, the home side laid siege to the Villarreal goal and very nearly found a winner in the 83rd minute, when Isco got his head to Eden Hazard’s cross, only to be denied as Rulli clawed the ball from off the goal line. Ancelotti’s charges continued to probe, but Villarreal stood firm and showed exactly why they are yet to have been beaten so far this term.

25-MATCH UNBEATEN RUN IN LALIGA

Following the draw with Villarreal at the Santiago Bernabéu, our team are unbeaten in 25 league games: 18 wins and 7 draws.

Asensio: 200 Real Madrid appearances

In the clash with Villarreal, Marco Asensio made his 200th Real Madrid appearance. The Mallorcan man has notched 127 wins and 40 goals in that time.

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The referee

Gil Manzano (Extremadura Committee), assisted by Nevado Rodríguez and Martínez Nicolás. Sanchez Sanchez was the fourth official and Munuera Montero (Andalusian Committee) was in charge of VAR.

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