Real Madrid’s La Liga woes continued on Saturday as a late goal from Pablo Fornals ensured a shock 1-0 win for Villarreal at the Bernabeu.
Real Madrid 0 Villarreal 0
Ronaldo misses numerous chances
Asenjo produces fine saves
Cheryshev fires wide
Fornals nets late winner
Real dominated play without being entirely convincing although a number of chances did fall to Cristiano Ronaldo, who was unable to beat Sergio Asenjo in goal.
After the break, the hosts still lacked imagination in attack and the Yellow Submarine grew into the game. As a result, Fornals stunned the home crowd with a late winner.
Los Blancos started with real enterprise but still lacked that sense of belief about their attacking play. In the 14th minute Gareth Bale thought he had scored the opening goal when he latched on to Ronaldo’s header across the small box, but his finish was ruled out for offside.
They continued to probe and after the ball was played to Marcelo in space on the left, his strike from distance was only denied a goal by a fine save from Asenjo.
Real were applying all the pressure and when a free-kick was won on the edge of the area after Luka Modric was brought down by Rodri, Ronaldo stepped up. However, his effort from around 25 yards out hit the wall and forced Asenjo into another good save with the ball hitting the post as it went clear.
On the half-hour mark, the Portugal superstar had a golden chance to make it 1-0 as Modric played him in behind the defence with just the keeper to beat, but his dinked effort over Asenjo rolled wide of the post.
On the stroke of half-time, Ronaldo was again denied by the shot-stopper as he latched on to Isco’s pass to the far post and saw his close-range strike turned away with an outstanding reflex save.
After the interval, Villarreal forged a decent chance when Denis Cheryshev gained control of possession and broke at goal from midfield. But, with time and space on his side, he blazed wide of the post.
Soon after, Dani Carvajal created a chance for Toni Kroos, but his half-volley was again saved by Villarreal’s number one. With frustrations increasing amongst the home support, the visitors nearly took the advantage when Samu Castillejo picked out Carlos Bacca in the box, though the Colombia star saw his strike hit the side-netting.
In the last 20 minutes or so, Madrid appeared to lose their composure in the final third and openings were hard to come by, with Modric blazing over while Marcelo also put a strike well wide.
Then, in stunning fashion, the visitors found a late winner through Fornals with just three minutes left to play.
After being picked out by the impressive Cheryshev, Fornals saw his initial strike saved by Keylor Navas, but he pounced on the rebound to send a superb chip over Navas and clinch a shock victory.
— Villarreal CF (@VillarrealCF) January 13, 2018