Real Madrid crisis deepens with home defeat to Villarreal

By Reuters: Saturday, January 13th 2018 at 20:43 GMT +3 | Football
Real Madrid missed the chance to close the gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona as they were beaten at home

Stumbling La Liga champions Real Madrid slumped to a second defeat in three league games by losing 1-0 to Villarreal as their hapless title defence continued on a rain swept Saturday at a sparsely attended Santiago Bernabeu.

Zinedine Zidane's side dominated the game but succumbed to an 87th minute strike from Pablo Fornals, who chipped over goalkeeper Keylor Navas on the rebound after a lightning quick counterattack as the visitors cleared a Real corner.

Madrid had a penalty appeal waved away in the first half when visiting defender Alvaro Gonzalez appeared to block a shot from Gareth Bale with his arm. Cristiano Ronaldo was thwarted from close range on the stroke of halftime by a breathtaking save from Villarreal goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo.

Real remain fourth in the Liga standings on 32 points and are only one point and one place above Villarreal. They could be a stunning 19 points behind runaway leaders Barcelona if Ernesto Valverde's side beat Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Later on Saturday, second-placed Atletico Madrid play away to Eibar while third-placed Valencia visit Deportivo La Coruna.

Get the latest World Cup news updates. Subscribe to our SMS sports service by texting 'SPORTS' to 22840.

LATEST STORIES
POPULAR HEADLINES