Real Madrid 1-2 Villarreal: result, summary, goals | LaLiga Santander
Real Madrid 2-1 Villarreal: how it happened
It was far from a convincing performance - how many times have we said that this season - but somehow Madrid managed to finish the season with another three points.
Their total of 84 points was not enough though for the title and Atlético, despite doing it their trademarked suffering way, remained two points clear with their own victory by the same scoreline.
Congratulations to both Madrid clubs for making it such an exciting final day.
Peep, peep, peeeeep!! It's all over here.
Madrid appear to, somehow, have done their job here. But last we heard Atleti were still winning so it won't matter.
GOAL!! Modric does it
The ball falls to Modric in space around the penalty spot, after more Villarreal defender that will have Manchester United licking their lips, and he strikes home.
Mariano goes wrong
What a breakaway from Madrid, Marcelo long to Mariano who has time to find Benzema all alone in the centre but dallies and eventually sees his cross deflected to safety.
Four added minutes to this game.
GOAL!! Benzema does level it up this time.
That was a sumptuous goal, even if it proves to be fruitless as far as the title goes.
The guests handed him plenty of space in their penalty area but the Frenchman picked his spot beautifully. Precision finish.
Emery changes again
Isco almost gets his toe to a lifted pass forward from Modric. That could have been interesting had he managed it because he was in on Rulli.
Rodrygo does brilliantly to rob Pedraza on the right and he fires the ball across the edge of the 18-yard box. A deflection takes it to the feet of Modric who controls before trying his luck from distance.
At first glance, with Rulli flying through the air in its direction, it appeared to be very close. A second look shows there was less need to panic.
More Villarreal subs
Pino and Moreno OFF
Alcacer and Raba ON
Title ten minutes
A reminder that if Madrid are to win the title, they need to score two here without reply, and hope that Valladolid can pull one back against Atleti.
Maybe old friend Ronaldo will stick on his boots for the final minutes.
Mariano has the run on Albiol to meet a Modric corner and rises above the defender. He couldn't, though, get control under that pressure and it's well over.
Villarreal are still aiming to get forward when the opportunity presents itself, although much less than in the first half.
Trigueros finds some space on this occasion but Courtois deals with it well.
Another chance not taken
It's the man you want in a shooting position, Benzema, again, as the ball falls from a Mariano attempt to convert a very tempting Marcelo cross.
The Frenchman though slices through the ball too much and it's never troubling Rulli.
Pino gets himself a shooting chance as the Yellow Submarine look to sink their opponents once and for all.
He wins a corner, from which Madrid eventually get themselves clear.
Triple change for Zizou
Casemiro, Gutierrez and Odriozola OFF
Mariano, Marcelo and Nacho ON
Suárez puts Atleti in sight of title
That lad who Barça didn't fancy for this season may have just secured the LaLiga title for the rojiblancos.
What a great chance for Benzema to get his side back in this. Around six yards out, and under no pressure, he hits a low effort just wide of the near post.
Rodrygo is all alone to his side asking, 'why didn't you roll it to me?' The Frenchman appears to agree.
Emery freshens it up
Bacca and Capoue OFF
Pena and Coquelin ON
Rodrygo attempts to centre the ball but it's blocked off with enough numbers back for the visitors.
Very useful run from Valverde, down the inside left channel, and just before the ball runs out of play he clips it across goal. Rulli is first to it, and smothers.
That VAR decision and the subsequent goal in the other game appears to have taken some of the life out the mood here after such a positive start to the second half from Los Blancos.
They must remember, however, that their job here was always to win. That was a must.
...and if they can, as it stands they would take the title.
Double change for Zidane
Vinicius and Asensio OFF
Isco and Rodrygo ON
Atlético score in Valladolid
As crazy as in the first half. Simultaneous goal action.
Check out what Will has to say on the Atleti equaliser
Wait a minute!! VAR is having a look.
The Frenchman may have just been offside...
NO GOAL! As you were.
Another cross into the Villarreal box and Militao is there to meet it, around 12 yards out. It's not a bad effort but is always going over, not by much though.
Los Blancos stepping things up
More pressure from Madrid, who have started this second half really well.
This time Asensio skips past two challenges before dinking over a ball for it only to be headed away from a corner.
Vinicius gets his dribble on down the left and as he cuts into the area attempts to get a shot away.
Under pressure he can only stab a toe at the ball, which kindly, and without any threat, bounces into the waiting arms of Rulli.
Corner to Madrid won from a teasing cross from Gutierrez.
Modric delivers but it's easily sorted out by the visitors.
As those opening seconds took place, Zidane was deep in conversation with first Isco and then Rodrygo. I think we can expect a change soon if the lads out there don't made a difference quickly.
Benzema rolls the ball back to Modric and Madrid edge forward looking for some space.
A nice exchange between Gutierrez and his French striker opens things up on the left and the cross finds Asensio who steps inside and shoots. Close covering blocks well.
Peeep! We're off
Right, refreshments, rub downs and manager advice complete. The players now trott our for the decisive second half...
First half musings
It may not have been a thrilling first 45 on the pitch at the Estadio di Stefano, but it's certainly been an interesting time in terms of where the title is going.
Both Madrid sides came into their respective games expected to win, but within two minutes their opponents made their task all the more difficult.
Zidane will be asking for much more from his side in the second half, with a key focus surely on getting their main marksman Benzema more involved in Rulli's penalty area.
He can also use the carrot of Atleti potentially opening the door for them to walk through...
Villarreal for their part have been organised at the back and ready to push on whenever possible in numbers. They are clearly not overawed by their hosts and they have no reason to be given how this season has gone.
Peeeeep! The whistle goes for half-time and the players head into the changing rooms for some advice.
Casemiro headed chance wasted
With a final corner being handed to Madrid just before the break, Modric couldn't have plopped it any better onto the head of his Brazilian midfield maestro.
The effort from Casemiro, however, was straight into the grateful arms of Rulli with the rest of the goal on offer.
There was a real moment of danger for the hosts there as they struggled to get the ball away from in front of Courtois' goal.
It finally fell on a plate to Trigueros but, realising he was well offside he let it run through and out of play.
Modric has another opportunity from a corner.
The defence are well drilled by Emery in those situations and get it cleared without any fuss.
Villarreal are getting plenty of bodies forward when they counter and the latest opening just doesn't fall to someone that can get it under control for a shot.
The game remains open and if I was a betting man I'd suggest the next goal is going to the away side.
Casemiro pushes on to the byline wide on the left and attempts a cross for his main striker. It's another poor one though and Rulli collects with ease.
Croatian close shave
The Villarreal defence just couldn't get a foot in there as Modric jinked one way and then the other. He creates a yard of space to strike but it slides wide of the near post.
Madrid need more of that creativity from their key players.
Sprinting down the left wing Pedraza puts in an inch perfect cross for Bacca, who finds himself with space in front of goal to finish it off.
The forward's first touch doesn't kill it kindly for him and Courtois cleans up. Great chance to double the lead.
Odriozola needs to sort out his crossing today if he's not to face the wrath of Benzema later. Another one goes begging.
Capoue gets a decent opportunity to test Courtois as he breaks to the edge of the home 18-yard box.
Instead he decides to test how many metres over the bar he can strike the ball. Poor from the experienced Frenchman.
Benzema and others are adamant that they should have been awarded a spot kick.
The ball does indeed bounce up and touch a defender's hand, but the ref is quick not to entertain the shouts.
Chance here for Madrid to level things up but the free-kick delivery will have to be much better than the last one.
Modric, almost touching the left touchline, swings a medium-paced ball to near the front post where Asensio gets the flick on.
It could have found it's way into the far corner but he gets too much hair on it and it's over the bar.
GOAL!!!!!! Pino gives Villarreal the lead
No sooner had the positive news come in from Valladolid - and Marcelo, Ramos etc on the sidelines were making it clear - than the Yellows take advantage of some sloppy play at the back from Madrid.
LaLiga title race live update
There's been a goal in the other game...and it's not for Atlético.
That promising position was not taken advantage of as the dead ball was kicked over everyone and out.
After some patient build up, working it from flank to flank, Modric and Gutierrez link up deep on the left.
A stray, and unintentional hand from Capoue seems to catch Madrid's left-back in the face and the whistle goes for a free-kick. Decent chance here.
Gutierez is immediately involved after that short stoppage, pushing up high on the left.
The ball is then switched quickly to Odriozola on the opposite wing and delivered into the area. The defence deals with it well and clear.
Young Miguel Gutierrez has hurt himself in the process of some excellent defending against Yeremy. He looks as though he should be fine to continue though.
Pedraza now, in what has started as a typical end-to-end affair, drills a low cross into the Madrid penalty box from the left.
It flies behind his own teammates and those in white allow it to run all the way through for a throw on the far side.
Vinicius finds a small gap on the left and fires across goal where Rulli does well to intercept before Benzema can cause him any problems.
Militao covers well
Bacca is sent scampering free down the centre of the pitch after a lovely first-time pass from Moreno.
Just as it looks as though he's going to get a strike away at goal, a poor touch allows Militao to come across and clear up the threat.
Courtois had to be quick getting to the edge of his area to collect a ball over the top for Bacca to run onto.
Despite there being plenty at stake in this, I'm expecting both sides to go at each other in search of that crucial win.
Those early touches are brought to an end as Militao goes long for Vinicius. It's intercepted and the visitors look to build.
Villarreal, in their very familiar all yellow kit, get things going, playing right to left as I look on.
Madrid do well to win the ball back quickly and start to knock it around in their own half to get some early touches in for as many as possible.
Peeeep!! We are underway at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano.
Right, the teams are out on the pitch and it's almost time to get going.
The referee will make sure that both games that will decide the title kick off exactly at the same moment.
The whistler in Madrid
In case you were wondering - and it's a hotly discussed topic in Spain, more than in many countries - the man in charge of proceedings today is Jose Luis Munuera Montero.
Chances of controversy? High!
Madrid's Villarreal title win
Los Blancos come in to this final game still as the reigning champions, and will hope that, just like last season, they are able to win the title against The Yellow Submarine.
If goals are scored in Valladolid - in either direction - we're likely to see signals coming to the players from substitutes and staff here at the Di Stefano.
Madrid vs Villarreal: what the managers said
On Friday, both team coaches spoke to the press.
"It's not important if I am here or someone else is, the important thing is the team and what we want to achieve.
"For us the only thing on our minds is the game. We play tomorrow and now isn't the time to talk about it (his future). All my energy is focused on tomorrow.
"It's been a tough campaign but we are excited by the chance of being able to win LaLiga."
"The order of priority is the game we play in the competition in which we are in. LaLiga is the one that marks our consistency and the objective that is to be in Europe. We already ran out of options to be among the top four.
"Then there is the Europa League and LaLiga, which is the only one that gives us access to this.
"And then there is the Conference League, which should not be demeaned.
"On Saturday we will have one eye on the Manchester United game. It is important that we play on Saturday and I think we deserved it because we are in a final representing Spanish football."
The title is in Atlético Madrid's hands, a win securing the first since 2013/14.
If you'd rather stay on top of what is happening in Valladolid, join the wonderful wordsmith Will Allen over here. Alternatively, open up two tabs and don't miss a thing.
Artificial intelligence predicts LaLiga winner
As I've explained there are only two teams left in the hunt on the final day, with Sevilla and Barcelona bowing out of what was, for a while, a four-way tussle at the summit.
Now it's between Atlético and Madrid, the two city rivals hoping to leave the other wallowing in misery.
Diego Simeone's side looked certainties for the title not too long ago: at the start of February, they were 11 points clear, but their form in the second half of the season has been a little underwhelming.
Having accumulated 50 points in their first 19 league matches, that haul has plummeted to 33 in the 18 matches since, hence why as many as three other teams have threatened to overtake them.
See what the clever(ish) algorith says about how today will turn out.
Atlético or Real Madrid? Opta AI predicts LaLiga title race outcome
The Yellow threat
Visiting striker Gerard Moreno has scored 29 goals and laid on 10 assists in all competitions this season. He'll be looking for a positive day at the Di Stefano to set him up for the Europa League final.
His 23 goals in LaLiga alone are bettered only by Lionel Messi - and the Villarreal man has a better conversion rate of the two. But he's a modest man.
"I don't really like people talking about me that much. I don't like to see myself in the news. I know it goes with our profession, but if we are not in the spotlight, it's not something I lose sleep over."
Of course, right now our focus is on this game being critical to determine which side of the Spanish capital the latest trophy will reside, but another decisive moment is approaching fast for Los Blancos.
As AS understands, Florentino Pérez and Zidane have been summoned to a meeting that will take place early next week. The last face-to-face meeting in which the coach has to announce to the president whether he is leaving Real Madrid or whether he feels strong enough to begin another club rebuild.
Coming into this final week and Los Blancos in search of LaLiga number 35, we wondered if they had ever clinched it on the final day before. The answer, a most definite yes, on five occasions, but they have actually been involved in title decision days with just 90 minutes remaining on 20 previous occasions.
The first of those successful five nailbiters came way back in 1932, although they were leading going into that last matchday. The same happened in 1980, 2003, 2007 and 2017, with Madrid already in pole position before taking to the field.
If title number 35 is achieved in 2021, then it will be the first time that Los Blancos have done so coming into it in second place. And how sweet it would be to leapfrog their city rivals in the process.
Check out my look back at the previous 20 final day fights.
Team news: assessment
Clearly the big news from the home camp is that captain Sergio Ramos was not in a suitable condition to begin the game. He is on the bench.
Other Zidane decisions worthy of a mention are that Varane comes in for Nacho - although no major surprise there - and that Marcelo has once again been replaced by young Miguel Gutiérrez.
Want to know a little more about the 19-year-old left-back? Here's a graphic that gives you a feel for what he's about on the pitch.
Starting XI: Villarreal
Rulli; Mario Gaspar, Albiol, Pau Torres, Pedraza; Parejo, Trigueros, Capoue; Gerard, Bacca, Yeremy
Starting XI: Real Madrid
Courtois, Odriozola, Militao, Varane, Miguel Gutiérrez, Valverde, Casemiro, Modric, Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius
OK, the team news is in. First up, the hosts...
A yellow birthday
Samuel Chukwueze turns the grand old age of 22 today. Will there be more reasons to celebrate?
Los Blancos prep
It was business as usual in front of the cameras for Zidane and co, but they know how big this afternoon may turn out to be.
Ahead of the final game, we had our usual punt at what team Zinedine Zidane may choose.
Confirmed team news will be with us any minute so let's see how close we got...
How they stand: Villarreal
The visiting manager Unai Emery has an interesting situation to deal with today.
Sitting 7th at the start of play, his side could still reach as high as 5th with a win. That said, a Europa League final midweek, against Manchester United is likely to be on the mind.
How they sit: Real Madrid
Los Blancos would clearly prefer to have been coming into this final day on top of the pile (and this is more important when I share with you something shortly) but at least they are still in with a shout at the top domestic prize.
Both Barcelona and Sevilla had been in the title race until recently but go into their fixtures today to determine third and fourth place.
LaLiga title race: what you need to know
OK, if you've joined me on this live feed and are unsure on what the situation is, then shame on you. Where have you been?
Right, let me explain...
Atlético are heavily favored by the odds, as they would automatically be champions if they win the game, but if Zidane’s men emerge victorious in the Spanish capital and Los Colchoneros draw or lose to Valladolid, then the glory would be for the 13-time European champions.
The hosts are second in the standings with 81 points, only two behind leaders Atlético, while Barcelona's hopes of fighting for the trophy ended after they lost to Celta at Camp Nou last weekend (1-2).
Zinedine Zidane's side are unbeaten in the Spanish league since the end of January, but the recent draws against Getafe, Real Betis and Sevilla have cost them the chance to be at the top of the table.
Everybody clear? Good.
To avoid any confusion all the info you need to know on how and where to watch Real Madrid host Villarreal at the Estadio Di Stéfano on 22 May at 12 noon EDT / 6 pm CEST is neatly laid out for you in this handy guide.
Real Madrid vs Villarreal: welcome
Hello and a very warm welcome to you from a warm and lightly breezy Madrid. What an afternoon of high tension we expect to bring you as LaLiga Santander 2020/21 is decided.
As I build up to kick-off between Los Blancos and team affectionately known as The Yellow Submarine, I'll provide you with all the information you need to know about the final day, and likely a bunch of stuff you don't really need to know...but you may find interesting.
Then it's off to the game where I'll be bringing you live, minute-by-minute commentary from the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano as well as updates, as they happen, from Valladolid.