Villarreal came into this contest with five straight wins in all competitions and started with confidence. They came close to taking a surprising early lead when Francis Coquelin led a bold heel drive into the base of the post.

Having survived the hosts-dominated first 15 minutes, Los Blancos gradually built their way into the match before the half-hour mark, however the usually reliable Karim Benzema and defender Eder Militao fired excellent chances from narrowly out of the box. goal.

In a first half lacking avant-garde in front of goal, Real Madrid looked to up the ante before halftime in search of a breakthrough. Vinicius Junior, a constant threat behind the Villarreal defence, came close but was prevented by a clever save from Pepe Reina.

Villarreal emerged after the restart eager to stamp their authority on the proceedings, and duly opened the scoring within two minutes, when Yeremy Pino collected a clever pass from Gerard Moreno, before coolly finishing past Courtois.

Unfazed by the setback, the visitors looked for an immediate response, and after Benzema squandered another glorious chance, the France international made no mistake from the penalty spot after an unfortunate handball from Juan Foyth in the box.

Remarkably, the hosts were handed a penalty of their own just two minutes later, when David Alaba was penalized for a handball, allowing Moreno to step up and restore the Yellow Submarine’s lead.

Despite seeing a lot of the ball and a late chance from Antonio Rudiger, the Whites were unable to bring their pressure to bear as Villarreal’s back line held their ground to inflict a costly defeat on the title-seeking visitors.

Madrid remains second, tied on 38 points with Barça, who visit fourth-placed Atlético de Madrid on Sunday, while Villarreal move them up to fifth.