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League leaders Real Madrid hosted Villarreal with both teams coming off of big wins in midweek.

The away side were seeing more of the ball over the opening exchanges but Madrid looked dangerous every time they attacked with pace. The first shot of the night came from the former with Danjuma bypassing two defenders before seeing his curling shot pushed away by Courtois.

Los Blancos were having to be patient with Benzema’s shot flashing out their best chance in the first 20 minutes.



The Yellow Submarine were enjoying all the possession as Madrid’s forwards were cutting forlorn figures. Emery’s side were passing expertly through the middle and the ball retention starting to frustrate the hosts. Danjuma was proving to be a danger, shooting high from close range as halftime approached. Madrid got a few half chances but were largely outclassed over the first period.



Madrid started the second half much brighter, having two good chances in the opening five minutes. First, Militao headed wide from an Asensio free-kick before Benzema did the same albeit from an offside position.

Villarreal were struggling to get out of their own half as Ancelotti’s men were looking for the opener. However, Danjuma was still a danger, drawing a somewhat straightforward stop from Courtois.



Another great opportunity came with Alcacer playing a pass across the goal that just avoided the foot of Pau Torres. The game got more even with time going on as the two teams were wary of being too open at the back. With the game heading into the final 10 minutes, it was still finely poised and looking like one goal could be the decider. Isco’s header was clawed by Rulli as Madrid stepped up the pressure.



Madrid kept putting in the crosses and looking for spaces to attack into but it finished a rare 0-0 between these two sides. Both teams had their chances but ultimately it was not to be on the night.

Here are the three key takeaways from the match:



It was a tale of two halves for Los Blancos. The first half saw them hardly get a good spell of possession going, with Villarreal playing the ball at their own pleasure. The away side did have their chances, specifically through Danjuma as well as some clever running which saw them having to defend stoutly. The second 45 was a complete contrast as they were on the front foot right from the off.



The wingers were getting more and more involved, especially Vinicius who was trying mighty hard to do something. Militao had the best chance, somehow heading off target before Isco’s header was saved by Rulli. A draw would probably seem fair for Ancelotti and co.



The Yellow Submarine might have feared getting overrun by a rampant Madrid but their passing game was a pleasant surprise. The compact nature and confidence on the ball enabled them to play the game at their own pace through the first half. Danjuma had a great chance and they would have expected to continue their work after halftime.

However, it was not to be with Madrid pushing them on the back foot for most of the remaining time. They had to sit back and attack on the counter with the defence dealing with a lot of crosses into the box. Raul Albiol and Torres stood like rocks to clear everything away though as they take a well deserved point.



With city rivals Atletico losing, Real could have opened up a five point gap at the top of the table. As it is, it remains a three point advantage to Sevilla and Los Rojiblancos, with the former having a game in hand, however.


Ratul Ghosh
His name means Red and a fan of devilish food, which equals to his favourite team being Manchester United. Can be found sleeping or in front of the TV otherwise. Hates waking up early but loves staying up late for football.

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