Real Madrid, the defending champion, failed to get out winning when their host Villarreal forced them to draw 1-1, in an unsuspecting result for the royal team before the European maturity next week.
Mariano Diaz scored Real’s goal in the second minute of the match, and Gerard Moreno equalized Villarreal in the 76th minute with a penalty kick, to raise Real’s score to 17 points in fourth place.
The Spanish capital team was hoping for a victory in which it rose from its final stoppage after falling 1-4 against Valencia in the ninth stage before the international window.
Real lost, in Saturday’s match, the services of defender Sergio Ramos and his French striker Karim Benzema due to injury, so French coach Zinedine Zidane Banacho and Mariano replaced them.
Brazilian Marcelo, Uruguayan Federico Valverde and Marco Asensio also missed the starting line-up, and Daniel Carvajal, French Ferlán Mendy and the Norwegian Martin Odegaard played in their place.
But the match witnessed the return of the Belgian Eden Hazar from quarantine after he was infected with the new Corona virus, similar to his Brazilian colleague Casemiro, who has not recovered yet.
Zidane said after the match, “We clearly lost two points. And the penalty kick, these are things that happen in football (…) but (the result) annoys me because of the effort the players have made.”
Real opened the scoring after Carvajal lifted a cross that Mariano Diaz threw at her and headed her into the net in the second minute.
There were doubts about the possibility of an offside, but the referee returned to the video assistant referee technique, and confirmed the correctness of the goal.
Despite Real’s control over the course of the first half, the team seemed to retreat in the second half, which provided many opportunities for the home team, most notably in the 57th and 70th minutes in front of an open goal, due to fatal defensive errors.
Lucas Vásquez missed the opportunity to consolidate the score after a shot from outside the area that the goalkeeper removed with his fingertips.
Villarreal got a penalty kick after a block by Belgian goalkeeper Tibo Courtois, to receive a goal from Gerard Moreno’s ground shot to the right (76).
This is the fourth penalty kick against Real in his last two matches.
But this incomplete step, Real maintains three wins in its last seven matches in all competitions, while it awaits a difficult match next Wednesday in front of its host Inter Milan in the European Champions League.