Real Madrid conceded two second-half goals to close the LaLiga season with an entertaining draw against Villarreal.
Gareth Bale opened the scoring after 11 minutes, meaning he has now found the net in each of his last four outings in the league. The Welsh winger is hitting form at the perfect time, and made a strong claim for a place in Zinedine Zidane’s starting line-up for the Champions League final next weekend.
Cristiano Ronaldo doubled the lead 20 minutes later with a glancing header. The No.7 left the pitch shortly after the hour mark, a clear indication that Zidane was viewing this match in the context of the upcoming final in Kiev.
Perhaps Villarreal sensed that Madrid's minds were elsewhere. Two minutes after entering the fray, Roger Martínez jinked inside and rifled an unstoppable shot beyond debutant goalkeeper Luca Zidane. It was another substitute, Samu Castillejo, who drew the home side level. The sinewy winger sprung the offside trap and rounded Zidane before rolling the ball in from an acute angle.
The result changes little. Madrid were assured of Champions League football, Villarreal were assured of Europa League. From Los Blancos’ perspective, the important thing was to emerge from the match without fresh injury problems ahead of the final. Kiev awaits.
Villarreal 2-2 Real Madrid: as it happened
90'+4' FT. Honours even at La Cerámica.
90'+4' Salem is booked for an agricultural challenge on Carvajal.
90'+3' Corner to Madrid after Álvaro deflects Lucas's cross behind. The ball falls to Lucas, alone 12 yards out. He attempts a left-footed volley and sends the ball the wrong side of the post.
90'+1' Andrés Fernández flies to his left to save a curled effort by Benzema. Villarreal clear the corner and Castillejo strides up the right touchline.
90' Four added minutes.
90' Castillejo's low cross is blocked at the near post. The crowd appeal, without success, for handball.
89' Kroos is booked for tripping Castillejo on the side of the box. The substitute hauls himself up and will deliver a cross.
88' Roger Martínez is booked for arriving late on Varane.
85' GOOOOOOOOOOL! Castillejo draws Villarreal level! That's a very slack goal to concede from Madrid's perspective. Marcelo steps up to try and lure Castillejo in to the offside trap, but the winger stays onside, rounds Zidane, and rolls the ball in from an acute angle.
83' Casemiro receives a yellow card for shoving Mario in to the assistant referee, as he wsa looking to break down the right.
78' Martínez tries to create a copy of his first goal, but Carvajal gets his face in the way. Marcelo brings the ball out for Madrid, and Álvaro goes in to the book for a block on Kroos. Castillejo joins him there after muttering something to the referee.
77' Another Villarreal changes sees Castillejo take Fornals' place.
75' Excellent defensive work from Casemiro, who charges back to tackle Roger Martínez deep inside the box, just as the Villarreal man was about to pull the trigger.
75' Andrés Fernández smothers a low shot from Benzema.
74' Dani Carvajal is down in a heap after leaping over Mario Gaspar's shoulder and landing awkwardly. The No.2 looks a bit winded, but is able to play on without any problems.
73' Zidane withdraws Isco, and Kovacic comes on in his place.
70' GOOOOOOOL! Roger Martínez pulls one back! Sensational finish from the Colombian, who only came on a couple of minutes ago. He jinks inside and rifles the ball in to the depths of the top corner from 12 yards out.
68' That was Ünal's final involvement. He goes off, with Roger Martínez taking his place.
67' Sergio Ramos clears the ball off the line! Sansone spins away from Lucas with a delightful turn, then chips the ball up for Ünal. The Turkey forward nods the ball at goal from six yards, but it's straight at Ramos.
65' Karim Benzema comes close to making it 3-0 after a scintillating counter-attack. Bale frees Kroos with a sly backheel, and then overlaps on the left to receive the return pass. Bale sends a first-time cross to Benzema at the far post, and he's denied by the 'keeper from lcose range.
62' Zidane makes a double change: Benzema and Lucas come one, Ronaldo and Modric go off.
61' Luca Zidane flies off his line to pluck a ball off the head of Ünal. He doesn't take it cleanly, but dives on the loose ball at the second time of asking.
58' Sergio Ramos handles the ball just outside the box and the referee gives a free-kick. Ünal adjusts his hairband, waiting to shoot... It's a good effort, but narrowly wide of the near post.
57' Here he comes. Javi Fuego makes way and Salem trots to the centre of the park.
56' Salem is preparing to come on for his Villarreal debut. He is one of the Saudi internationals who arrived in Spain in January.
55' Isco strides down the right but gets caught in two minds when it comes to delivering the ball. It's half cross, half shot, and it sails over the bar.
52' Marcelo concedes possession with an overly-nonchalent pass towards Varane. The full-back recovers and shepherds the ball behind for a goal kick, with Fornals nipping at his heels.
50' Up at the other end, Andrés Fernández bombs off his line and out of the box. He nods the ball away from Bale and continues sprinting to prevent Kroos lofting it over him and in to an unguarded net.
49' Sansone swings the free-kick over the wall and Luca Zidane prevents it creeping under the bar with a firm hand.
49' Luka Modric is the first player in the book for a foul on Ünal, 25 yards out.
48' Bonera dispossesses Bale and slips a pass through to Fornals. He sends a cross in to the six-yard box that arrows between Ünal and Sansone.
46' We're back underway at La Cerámica!
The teams are back in the tunnel ahead of the second half.
45' HT. There's no added time. The referee puts his whistle to his lips as the scoreboard ticks on to 45 minutes.
45' Carvajal speeds down the right flank and on to Bale's through ball. He looks up and prepares to square the ball to Ronaldo, but the linesman raises his flag. That was very close.
44' 'Ominous for Liverpool,' says a wise head in the AS newsroom. Madrid are looking very, very slick.
42' There appear to be about seven Raphael Varane's dotted across the pitch. He's intercepting everything. This time it's a cross from Fornals that Varane nods clear, with Ünal lurking behind.
40' Magnificent one-handed save from Andrés Fernández to tip Kroos's shot over the bar.
38' Kroos nabs the ball in the Madrid half and immediately plays it forward to Isco on the left. Madrid have a three-on-two advantage but Isco goes alone, twisting, turning, and watching his shot deflect over the bar. Ronaldo has a chance from the subsequent corner but sends a shot wide.
37' Luka Modric watches the ball float towards him as Álvaro heads Marcelo's cross away from goal. Modric takes it down and prods an effort towards goal. It goes just over.
34' A rare loose pass from Modric allows Fornals to thread the ball to Sansone on the left. He squares the ball with his first touch and Varane has positioned himself well to clear.
32' GOOOOOOOOOL! Cristiano Ronaldo! Isco shapes to shoot, but instead chips the ball out to Marcelo on the left. He crosses with the outside of this left foot, an it's Ronaldo who rises highest to nod the ball down in to the bottom corner.
30' A fine effort from Pablo Fornals, who receives the ball on the half-turn, swivels, and shoots just wide of Luca Zidane's goal.
28' It looks for a moment like Ronaldo is clean through on goal, but the linesman hoists his flag to signal a narrow offside.
26' Isco is causing issues for Rodri and Javi Fuego by drifting in to the pockets of space between them and the Villarreal defence.
23' This is being played with the tempo of a pre-season match. Both sides have their fates decided in LaLiga, and the result is a lethargic pace to the match.
21' Villarreal have a prolonged spell of possession for the first time in the match. Isco brings it to an abrupt end with a foul on Sansone.
19' Sansone and Ünal combine with a sequence of flicks, but Varane is well placed to intercept and set Madrid away on the attack.
17' Ronaldo fails to find space to shoot on his right foot, so spins away from Bonera and tries it with his left. The result is high, wide, and not so handsome.
15' Lovely skill from Isco, who takes Rodri out of the game by chipping the ball over his leg with a deft first touch.
14' The home crowd whistle and jeer as the referee awards Real Madrid a goal kick following Casemiro's challenge on Ünal. Replays show that he was spot on - Casemiro knocked the ball on to Ünal's leg.
11' GOOOOOOOL! Bale! Villarreal are caught napping as Modric threads a quick free-kick to Bale. He beats Bonera and shoot in to the bottom corner from just inside the box.
10' Ronaldo throws a step-over on the right, gets to the byline, and hangs the ball up for Bale. It's slightly too high for the Welshman.
8' Ronaldo is the next player to force Fernández in to a save, with a dipping shot from 30 yards out. That moved in the air like one of his free-kicks.
5' Andrés Fernández beats Sergio Ramos' shot around the post. That move started with Modric's whipped pass out to Marcelo on the flank. Naturally, the full-back kills it with his first touch, and tees up Ramos to curl it to the far corner.
3' The first chance falls to Villarreal. Sansone jinks past Kroos and lays the ball in to Ünal's path. The young striker shoots across goal, sending Luca Zidane sprawling, but it's just wide.
3' Álvaro and Bale tangle, with the former down holding his ankle. It looks sore but he should be able to continue.
1' Isco wriggles away from a pair of Villarreal midfielders and lays the ball to Marcelo, who lofts it over the top towards Gareth Bale. Bonera intercepts, but that's an early indication that Madrid will look to play the ball early and use Bale's pace.
1' Off we go! Isco rolls the ball back to get the match underway.
Sergio Ramos and Mario Gaspar get the pre-match niceties done in the centre circle, and we're about ready to go.
Out they come!
The teams are standing hands-on-hips in the tunnel at La Cerámica. Five minutes to kick-off.
Real Madrid are 'really interested' in David Alaba, according to the Bayern Munich player's father and agent.
Gareth Bale returns to the stadium where he made his Real Madrid debut, back in 2013. He came on as a 38th minute substitute and scored that day.
The headline news from Real Madrid's perspective is that Luca Zidane will make his debut in goal. Elsewhere, Zidane appears to have picked the team that will start against Liverpool in Kiev, with Gareth Bale partnering Cristiano Ronaldo in attack.
Villarreal XI: Andrés Fernández; Mario, Bonera, Álvaro, Marín; Rodrigo, Fuego; Soriano, Fornals, Sansone; Ünal.
Real Madrid XI: Luca Zidane; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Isco; Ronaldo, Bale.
Buenas tardes! Welcome to our minute-by-minute coverage of Villarreal vs Real Madrid in LaLiga, Los Blancos' final match before the Champions League final one week from now.
Te recomendamos en English
- CORONAVIRUS USA coronavirus live: Trump, stimulus checks, Amy Barret, cases, deaths, updates today
- US ELECTIONS 2020 Early voting in NYC: dates, how to vote and where to find locations near me
- BRAZIL Ronaldinho tests positive for coronavirus
- REAL MADRID Asensio is back in the equation at Real Madrid
- Covid-19 Economic Crisis Unemployment benefits NY: why was New York denied an extra $300?
- GAMING NEWS Pokémon GO A Spooky Message Unmasked: all research tasks and rewards from Halloween event