Real Madrid suffered a setback in their attempt to repeat as LaLiga champions after losing 2-1 to Villarreal in an entertaining match, full of action and also tinged with controversy. The defending champions missed the chance to reach the top of the La Liga table with a win or a draw.

Samuel Chukwueze’s Villarreal were undeterred in front of a full house in their renovated El Madrigal home, and the Yellow Submarine attacked Real Madrid from the start, scoring a victory that will give them hope of making a real effort in a top- four. finish and earn a place in the UEFA Champions League, reports Sportingnews.

Real Madrid, which started the game without a Spanish player for the first time in its competitive history, is guaranteed to remain in second place in the La Liga standings as it prepares to see leaders Barcelona take the field against Atlético Madrid. on Sunday. Barcelona will have a chance to take a three-point lead at the top of the table if they can beat Real Madrid’s rival Atlético.

Villarreal striker Gerard Moreno scored once and registered an assist as his team deservedly took all three points. Real Madrid never got into an attacking rhythm and that was also due to Villarreal’s excellent defensive play.

Sportingnews reported that referee César Soto Grado called two penalties in a span of four minutes in the second half, both of which were moot. The first for Real Madrid seemed like a light touch from Juan Foyth that hardly affected the flight of the ball. The second was whistled against Real Madrid player David Alaba, who seemed to be supporting himself so as not to fall to the ground. Both players were penalized and both penalties converted.

Real Madrid will be looking to put defeat behind them as they prepare to play in the Spanish Super Cup starting in the middle of the week. Villarreal, who will face host Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey round of 16, will travel to face Celta Vigo on Friday.

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