Real Madrid 3-2 Villarreal: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Mariano Diaz Sinks the Yellow Submarine

​Real Madrid put in a dominant display as they triumphed over Villarreal at the Bernabeu Stadium courtesy of two goals from Mariano Diaz and another from Jesus Vallejo.

Mariano, starting in place of Karim Benzema, opened the scoring within two minutes before Villarreal equalised nine minutes later. Vallejo made sure that Los Blancos went in at the break in front, and Mariano again scored early in the second half as he converted a Dani Carvajal pass into the Villarreal goal.


Despite having the majority of the possession and creating numerous chances, Real couldn’t convert their dominance into goals that would have given this game a more flattering scoreline in favour of the home side, especially after Villarreal’s late goal.

Here’s 90min’s breakdown of the game.

Real Madrid

Key Talking Point

Mariano Diaz, within 84 seconds found himself wheeling away in celebration as he put the ball in the Villarreal net. 

Former ​Manchester City youngster Brahim Diaz dispossessed Santi Cazorla before feeding Mariano, who coolly slotted the ball past Andres Fernandez in the visiting goal, backing up his claim to remain in Madrid. 

It was Los Blancos’ fastest goal this season, and hinted at the intent that Zinedine Zidane wanted from his players. It would have impressed the Frenchman to see Brahim Diaz so tenacious early on, and the young Spaniard may feature in his manager’s plans for next season.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Courtois (6); Carvajal (7), Vallejo (7), Varane (7), Marcelo (7); Kroos (7), Casemiro (8), Valverde (6); Vazquez (6), Mariano (9)*, Diaz (8)

Substitutions: Asensio (6), Isco (6), Vinicius (6)

Star Man

With Benzema out through injury and ​Gareth Bale not even selected for the match-day squad, Mariano had the perfect opportunity to prove his worth to his manager as Zidane looks to rebuild this ​Real Madrid side in the summer.

With two goals and a strong performance leading the line for Los Blancos, Mariano will believe he has shown the Frenchman what he can bring to the Spanish giants. 

His physicality and willingness to get stuck in caused Villarreal problems on a number of occasions. What was more promising was the way Mariano linked up with Diaz, a combination that resulted in the opening goal.

The 25-year-old will have given his manager plenty to think about over the coming months. 


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Fernandez (6); Quintilla (6), Funes (6), Gonzalez (6), Gaspar (5); Cazorla (6), Iborra (6); Pedraza (5), Fornals (7), Chukwueze (5); Moreno (7)

Substitutions: Trigueros (6), Bacca (6), Costa ()

Looking Ahead


Los Blancos’ penultimate game of the season is away to Real Sociedad as Zidane continues to decide who will still be playing in the famous white shirt next year. The Real players know that they are playing for their survival at the club which could make the final two games exciting as they go all out to prove their worth.