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All square against Villarreal

MATCH REPORT. 12/02/2022. Alberto Navarro. Photographer: Antonio Villalba

Real Madrid were by far the better side in the second half and enjoyed a glut of chances, including Bale and Jović's efforts which crashed back off the crossbar.

Real Madrid were held to a draw at the Estadio de la Cerámica in a game which saw a cagey first half turn into a dominant display by our team as they found their feet after the break. Both Bale and Jović had strikes cannon back off the crossbar and the LaLiga leaders had plenty of good chances to put the ball in the back of the net throughout. Inside the first fifteen minutes, Vini Jr. went down under Albiol's challenge in the box, but there was nothing doing. Four minutes later, the first chance of note fell to the hosts. The ball ended up at the feet of Danjuma in the six-yard box after a series of messy rebounds but his effort ricocheted off the outside of the post.

Villarreal tried their luck once again with 38' on the clock, but Alberto Moreno's shot from the edge of the box was kept out by a superb Courtois save. The last action of the half came from our team when Casemiro's long ball in behind found Bale, who raced through one-on-one with Rulli on 42 minutes but the goalkeeper came out on top. On the stroke of half-time, Vini Jr. thought he should have had a penalty after receiving a whack to the face from Parejo as the players jostled for position before a free-kick.

Video.0-0: All square against Villarreal

The second half got underway at a more frantic pace and Real Madrid began to boss possession as the minutes went by. Ancelotti’s side almost broke the deadlock on 50’ when Marco Asensio cut inside and let fly from the edge of the area, but his strike went inches over the crossbar. Six minutes later, Bale had an even better chance for the visitors. The Welshman drilled in a fierce shot from distance which Rulli finger-tipped onto the bar and out for a corner. By this stage, the madridistas were well on top and causing Villarreal all kinds of problems. On 58’, Valverde nicked the ball off the defender and fed Vini Jr., but the forward was well thwarted by the goalie when in on goal.

The Whites continued to turn the screw and carve out chances, as the hosts struggled to get a foot on the ball. In the 64th minute, Casemiro won back possession near the centre circle and played in Vini Jr., who sent Bale through on goal, but Rulli was again on hand to deny the Wales forward and then Foyth cleared the rebound off the line. Soon after, Kroos drilled in a low left-footed effort from the edge of the box but it went straight into the keeper’s hands. In stoppage time, Harzard played a fine through ball to Jović, who found himself one-on-one with the seemingly unbeatable Rulli. As the keeper rushed off his line the striker chipped him, but the ball agonisingly bounced back off the bar. The loose ball fell to Nacho who drilled the ball in and Aurier spectacularly blocked the ball on the goal line to save the hosts. Madrid must now turn their attentions to Tuesday’s Champions League clash against PSG at the Parc des Princes.




The referee

Sánchez Martínez (Murcia Committee), assisted by Cabañero Martínez and Gallego García. De Ena Wolf was the fourth official and Iglesias Villanueva (Galician Committee) was the VAR.