Villarreal 2-2 Real Madrid: Los Blancos Settle for Point After Spurning Lead Ahead of UCL Final

​Real Madrid capped off their La Liga season with a 2-2 draw away to Villarreal despite having a two goal lead ahead of their Champions League final in a weeks time. First half goals from Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo but Zinedine Zidane’s side in a commanding position, but Roger Martinez and Samu Castillejo goals in the second half meant both sides had a share of the spoils. 

Chances fell for either side inside the opening 10 minutes at the Estadio de la Ceramica, as Villarreal’s Enes Unal narrowly dragged his effort wide, while Andres Fernandez was called into action at the other end to beat away speculative efforts from Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Madrid, however, would find the breakthrough not long after thanks to Gareth Bale’s 16th La Liga goal of the season. Played in by some quick thinking from Luca Modric, the Welshman’s cute step-over gave himself the room before firing hard and low down to Fernandez’s right and open the scoring after 11 minutes. 

Villarreal v Real Madrid - La Liga

Despite seeing more of the ball after Bale’s strike, Villarreal’s only real effort of note after conceding was a Pablo Fornals strike that drifted wide a debuting Luca Zidane’s post, before Javi Calleja’s side were soon two goals behind. 

Found in space on the left after a lovely ball from Isco, Marcelo was afforded too much time to cross, picking out an unmarked Ronaldo who simply nodded home his 26th league goal of the season and double Madrid’s lead. 

It could’ve been even more for Los Blancos as chances began to fall much more frequently towards the end of the half, with Isco, Ronaldo and Toni Kroos all coming close to adding a much-deserved gloss to the scoreline before the half time interval. 

With fifth place and Europa League football secured, Villarreal looked to make a game of it in the second half, as Nicola Sansone’s free kick brought a fine save from Zidane, while Unal’s set piece effort curled agonisingly wide soon after. 

Sergio Ramos then had to be alert to clear Unal’s header off the line after some brilliant skill from Sansone in the buildup, before a stunning strike from Roger Martinez pulled a goal back for The Yellow Submarine to set up an interesting final 20 minutes. 

Villarreal’s improved performance caused Madrid problems throughout the second half, and were deserving of their equaliser five minutes from time. Beating the offside trap, Samu Castillejo kept his composure to round Zidane and slot the leveller home. 

There was even time for Karim Benzema and Lucas Vasquez to go close late on, but their failure to find a winner meant both sides finished the season with a point.