Real Madrid witnessed their third La Liga defeat of the season after they were beaten 1-0 at Estadio El Madrigal on Sunday.
Roberto Soldado’s first half goal proved enough to secure victory on an evening when Rafael Benitez’s team disappointed with their lack of a consistent goal-threat against their well-organized hosts. The latest loss has mounted pressure on Benitez, who took charge at Bernabeu this year, and again prompt questions about their discipline.
Benitez’s men have lacked consistency this season, particularly given their previous fixture was an 8-0 win over Malmo in the Champions League. Moreover, the trio often abbreviated as BBC including Bale, Benzema, and Cristiano Ronaldo have failed to find the net in four league games of the Primera Division season.
The home side broke the dead lock in the ninth minute when Luka Modric lost possession and Cedric Bakambu found former Tottenham Hotspur striker Soldado to place the ball though Keylor Navas’ legs. Real Madrid had 20 shots in search of an equalizer but only managed one shot on target.
Villarreal dominated the early phase of the game and could have doubled their lead before the break. The visitors took more than 45 minutes to truly threaten their well-organized opponents. France international Karim Benzema came close to score but he fired a half-volley just beyond the post.
Minutes later, the French striker then missed a superior goal scoring opportunity. The away side continued to dominate possession thereafter, but Villareal gradually adjusted and neutralized the threat posed by the La Liga giants.
Real Madrid are placed third in the title race, five points behind the Spanish league’s two frontrunners after Atletico Madrid pulled level with Barcelona. The recent defeat has left Real now only two points above fourth-placed Celta Vigo and three ahead of Villarreal in fifth. IMAGE/Getty Images