Real Madrid vs Las Palmas coverage | LaLiga Santander
Three goals from Real Madrid in a twenty minute spell was enough for Zinedine Zidane's side to, not just secure maximum points in Vila-real but send a clear message to Sevilla and FC Barcelona that they will not give an inch in their battle to secure their 33rd Spanish league title.
The home side will feel hard done-by in what proved to be a riveting game in the Estadio de la Ceramica. Fans of the "Yellow Submarine" will point to the harsh penalty that match official Gil Manzano awarded in the 73rd minute that changed the complexion of the match after the ball ricocheted against Bruno's arm. Cristiano duly dispatched the spot kick after Manu Trigueros and Cedric Bakambu had earlier opened the scoring for the home team.
The game was enthralling from the off and despite no score at the break, it was Fran Escriba's men who looked the better team as Madrid looked to bounce back from Wednesday's reverse at Mestalla.
Isco: game changer
The Costa del Sol born midfielder's 58th minute introduction was pivotal in changing the tide of the game as the elegant ball player opened the centre of the field for the visitors and Madrid were able to capitalise on Carvajal and Marcelo getting forward with both player's supplying vital assists for Bale's and Morata's headed goals.
Ronaldo levelled the tie and immediately the the men in yellow wilted and it was a case of not if Madrid would bag the winner but when. Substitute Alvaro Morata was duly on hand to head home with a textbook downward header in the 83rd minute which Villarreal keeper Fernandez failed to deal with and Zidane's side regain their slender one point lead at the top of the table with one game in hand for the men in white.
Three points for Real Madrid but the Gil Manzano penalty decision will make all the headlines as Real Madrid face Las Palmas and Eibar in the next seven days.
Villarreal 2-3 Real Madrid: full-time
Min 94 | Gil Manzano calls time and Madrid secure three more than valuable LaLiga points at the Estadio de la Ceramica.
Min 94 | Morata misses a last minute sitter as Isco feed the Spanish striker.
Min 92 | The Isco change by Zidane was fundamental in the switch of fortune for the visitors.
Min 91 | 4 minutes of added time as Pepe is carded.
Min 90 | A penalty appeal from Villarreal as the ball hits Marcelo on the arm. Gil Manzano says "no, no no"!
Min 89 | Chants of the infamous "Asi , asi, asi, gana el Madrid" alluding to the referring decisions ring out from the stand from the disgruntled home fans who have seen their team blow a 2-0 lead.
Min 87 | Bale goes to ground and looks in trouble as Lucas Vazquez takes his place.
Min 84 | Textbook downward header from Morata but question marks over the goalkeeper who could have done better. Delightful cross from Marcelo.
Min 83 | Goal for Madrid as Morata finishes off the come-back.
Min 82 | Villarreal at sixes and sevens as they are totally incapable of threading two passes together now. A shadow of the team who were in the ascendancy as the first half progressed.
Min 80 | Delightful cross from Marcelo as Morata takes the ball off Cristiano's head. Madrid really applying maximum pressure here.
Min 79 | Into the last 10' with Real Madrid in the ascendancy looking for a third goal that would vault them back to the summit of the Laliga table.
Min 77 | Change for Real Madrid as Mortata comes on for Bernzema.
Min 75 | Hernandez on for Trigueros (Villarreal change)
Min 73 | Cristiano to take and scores.
Min 72 | Penalty for Madrid as the ball ricochets onto Bruno's hand (who is booked). Harsh decision!
Min 70 | Modric carrying on as Villarreal try and compose themselves after the Real Madrid goal.
Min 68 | Worrying for Madrid fans as Modric pulls up ....
Min 65 | An enthralling game this evening in Vila-real.
Min 64 | A pinpoint cross from Dani Carvajal beats the three Villarreal defenders and falls perfectly to the Welsh international who heads majestically home leaving Fernandez with no chance.
Min 64 | Bale heads home to make it 2-1
Min 63 | Samu comes close for Villarreal as the ball breaks down the other end. It's still frantic stuff here at the Estadio de la Ceramica.
Min 61 | Cristiano rocks the Villarreal post and Benzema blazes over the rebound. Fine skill from the player from Madeira and lady-luck shining down on Fernandez in the Villarreal goal with the ricochet.
Min 58 | Subs: Isco on / Casemiro off for Real Madrid and Adrian off with Cheryshev his replacement for the home side.
Min 56 | Delightful assist from Bruno threading the ball through the Madrid defence. Bakambu does well to hold off Ramos and place the ball exquisitely past Navas.
Min 56 | Bakambu makes it 2 !
Min 54 | Madrid looking to bounce back as they maintain longer spells of possession.
Min 51 | The ball breaks nicely to the Villarreal No. 14 who arches his body perfectly to fire past Keylor Navas. Castellejo with the assist.
Min 50 | Trigueros puts the home side ahead
Min 49 | Morata looks like he may make an appearance imminently as the young striker is warming up intensely on the sideline
Min 48 | Bale puts the ball on a proverbial "plate" for Karim Benzema but the French striker can only tap the ball into the arms of the Villarreal keeper. Poor from the Madrid No. 9!
Min 47 | No changes at the break.
Min 46 | Madrid get us under way.
Villarreal 0-0 Real Madrid: half time summary
A frantic half at El Estadio de la Ceramica sees the home side slightly on top after an intense fourty five minutes of football. Both teams spent the first twenty minutes sounding each other out and the 50/50 possession statistic after 20 minutes was a fair reflection on the game. The home side then had wave after wave of attack with Bakambu and especially Mario close to opening the scoring. At the other end Karim Benzema was close to opening his account on the night but his goal bound header was pawed away by Sergio Asenjo who subsequently injured himself after an awkward fall following the save. More of the same please !
Villarreal 0-0 Real Madrid: half time
Min 48 | Gil Manzano calls time. 0-0
Min 47 | In the end it's Toni Kross who takes but the move comes to nothing as Benzema breaks into the area and the Villarreal goalkeeper does well to smother the ball depriving the French international of a shooting opportunity.
Min 47 | Bruno fouls Cristiano is a dangerous area, central and certainly CR7 territory !
3 minutes of time to be added on here.
Min 44 | The 57% v 43% current possession stat a fair reflection of what we've seen at the Estadio de la Ceramica. Villarreal ahead "on points".
Min 41 | Villarreal very much the "Jekyll and Hyde" team in LaLiga, capable of capitulation to AS Roma in the recent Europa League home tie and then deliver a performance as we've witnessed this evening at the "Ceramic Stadium"
Min 39 | Great play from Samu Castellejo as he "skins" Marcelo to win a corner for his team.
Min 38 | A dip in the intensity presently caused by the delay for the Asenjo injury.
Min 35 | Change for the home side, Asenjo off and Andres Fernandez his replacement.
Min 33 | Bad news for Villarreal as Asenjo tumbles to the ground and gestures to the bench. Fernandez set to make an appearance in the Villarreal goal.
Min 32 | And now Bakambu goes close for the men in yellow as Keylor does well to stop his right footer.
Min 31 | Castellejo goes so close latching onto a cross from Adrian but fails to keep his shot down and on target. Will the home side will come to rue these missed chances?
Min 29 | So close for Villarreal as Dos Santos fires a shot goal bound which gets deflected out for a corner. The men in yellow shading it here !
Min 28 | Villarreal now go down the other end and launch a counter attack which ultimately comes to nothing. No let-up in the pace as we head towards the half hour mark.
Min 27 | Asenjo is okay to carry on as Cristiano zips a shot-cum-cross across the face of the home team goal.
Min 25 | Benzema almost makes it 0-1 as Asenjo does well to claw the ball away from a certain goal. The Villarreal keeper has fallen awkwardly and is getting treatment.
Min 23 | A "basketball-esque" feel to the game with both teams having waves of alternative possession.
Min 22 | Adrian does well on the left flank and lobs a dangerous ball into the Madrid which is frantically cleared for a corner.
Min 20 | Possession stats in the first 20' a fair reflection of what we've see so far: Villarreal 50% v 50% R.Madrid
Min 19 | Modric looking very lively for Madrid this evening.
Min 16 | Madrid almost sneak in as Modric and Cristiano link-up well but Asenjo is alert in the Villarreal goal and gathers the lose ball.
Min 13 | The initial pace to this game is intense as Real Madrid appeal for a spot-kick after a Villarreal defender was adjudged to have handled. No-do says match official Gil Manzano.
Min 11 | Mario fires on goal and Navas makes a great save pushing the ball out of danger. Villarreal pressing now.
Min 10 | Fabulous pace to the game so far this evening with the teams morning the ball around at a lightning velocity.
Min 9 | Manu Trigueros one of the most under-rated players in LaLiga ...discuss....
Min 7 | Samu Castellejo has a long range pop but his speculative left foot volley was destined to never trouble Keylor Navas in the Real Madrid goal.
Min 6 | Long passing spell from Madrid as it's Modric who ultimately fires the ball on goal. Both sides zipping the ball around with crisp first touch balls.
Min 4 | Cristiano tries his luck with a long range speculative right footed drive. A meek outburst of whistling from the home crowd aimed at the Real Madrid No. 7.
Min 2 | Villarreal, the LaLiga team with the most unusual font for the number on their shirts !
Min 1 | Off we go at the Estadio de la Ceramica, the yellows vs. the whites
20:42 | A 5/1 price on a win for the home side. In the corresponding fixture last season the "Yellow Submarine" won 1-0 with an early Soldado goal enough for Villarreal.
20:40 | An almost full house is expected at the 25.000 capacity Estadio de la Ceramica or El Madridgal as it's known in "old money".
20:40 | 250 Madrid fans will be at the ground tonight despite the club from the capital receiving an allocation of 1.800.
20:34 | Kick off looms at the Estadio de la Ceramica. A fresh 12C this evening in the province of Castellon. 0% probability of precipitation.
20:00 | The BBC are back on air together for the first time since the end of October 2016. Alaves away (1-4) was the last time the trident played together.
Villarreal confirmed XI: Asenjo, Musacchio, Ruiz, Mario, Costa, Bruno, Trigueros, Dos Santos, Castillejo, Bakambu & Adrian
Real Madrid confirmed XI: Navas, Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Ronaldo, Kroos, Bale, Benzema, Marcelo, Casemiro, Modric
19:00 | With Barça's win at the Calderon, imperative that Madrid get something positive from tonight's game
17:25 | The fortunes of the two keepers in tonight's game have been contrasting this season. You can read a breakdown of their stats here.
16:55 | Could James Rodríguez be off to Serie A this summer?
15:25 | What does the AS Oracle reckon is in store at the Estadio de la Cerámica? You'll find all of our crystal-ball gazer's week 24 predictions here.
14:30 | Real Madrid are within touching distance of a piece of history today...
13:10 | In need of a smattering of jolly useful info on how, when and where to watch Villarreal vs Real Madrid? Look no further.
12:40 | Here's more on the Real Madrid squad news.
12:10 | AS editor Alfredo Relaño looked ahead to Villarreal vs Real Madrid in today's editorial, as well as discussing Atético Madrid vs Barcelona - and Sevilla's rise to level on points with Los Blancos.
11:50 | Real Madrid have named their 20-man squad for tonight's game.
11:40 | Buenos días! Stay tuned for all the build-up ahead of this evening's clash in Vila-real!
Villarreal vs Real Madrid: match preview
With Atlético Madrid hosting Barcelona in the afternoon, Villarreal and Real Madrid then round off a mouth-watering day of action in LaLiga as they go head-to-head at the Estadio de la Cerámica on Sunday night.
And Real go to a stadium where they haven't enjoyed unblemished fortunes in recent years: Los Blancos have accrued just one win in their last four league visits.
Villarreal welcome Real to their recently re-christened ground licking their wounds from Europa League elimination to Roma - but heartened by a 1-0 second-leg win in Italy.
Indeed, after a run of one victory in nine following the turn of the year, Fran Escribá's side have now put together two on the bounce for the first time in 2017, having seen off Real Sociedad at Anoeta last time out in the league.
Their New Year struggles notwithstanding, sixth-place Villarreal have had a decent season under Escribá, one once more built on a defence that has conceded fewer than any other outfit in LaLiga.
And after resting a host of regulars for the quasi-dead rubber in Rome, the ex-Elche and Getafe boss is expected to bring as many as ten players back into his team this evening.
Villarreal will be missing Nicola Sansoné, who has a calf issue, while Denis Cheryshev (ex-of Real) and Manu Trigueros were expected to shake off niggles.
Following defeat to Valencia, Madrid travel to face Villarreal provisionally level on points with Sevilla, who beat near neighbours Real Betis on Saturday afternoon.
And depending on Barça's result at Atleti, Real - who still have one more game in hand over their rivals after this weekend - could take to the field in second.
After their midweek disappointment at Mestalla, Zinedine Zidane's men are tasked with getting back to winning ways at a stadium that brought a 1-0 league reverse last term, and against a side who held them to a 1-1 home draw in September.
What's more, neither Barcelona nor Atlético have managed to take three points from away assignments against the Submarino Amarillo this season.
However, Real are likely to be aided by the return of Gareth Bale to their XI, with the Welshman in line for his first start since recovering from an ankle injury.
Speaking on Saturday, Zidane told his pre-match press conference that Bale - who made a goal-scoring debut for Madrid at Villarreal in 2013 - is "back at 100%".
Real will be without injured pair Danilo and Raphael Varane, with the Frenchman facing four to six weeks out after suffering a hamstring strain at Valencia.
Villarreal vs Real Madrid: possible line-ups
Villarreal XI: Asenjo, Mario, Musacchio, V. Ruíz, Costa, Dos Santos, Trigueros, Bruno, Castillejo, Bakambu, Adrián
Real Madrid XI: Keylor, Carvajal, Ramos, Pepe/Nacho, Marcelo, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Bale, Benzema, Cristiano