Villarreal edge out Real Madrid to pile pressure on Zinedine Zidane

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Pablo Fornals earns the Yellow Submarine victory with late winner

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane reacts after seeing Villarreal score the winning goal (Paul White/AP)

Villarreal piled the pressure on under-fire Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane as they snatched a 1-0 win over the struggling LaLiga champions at the Bernabeu.

Real reached the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey – where they will face Leganes – in midweek, but started the day 16 points behind rivals Barcelona in the league.

That massive gap remains in tact after a sublime finish from Pablo Fornals finished off an 87th-minute counter-attack from the Yellow Submarine, who had goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo to thank for a number of vital saves.

What they said

Zinedine Zidane's side are 16 points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona
Zinedine Zidane’s side are 16 points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona (Paul White/AP)

Tweet of the match


Man of the match – Sergio Asenjo

Villarreal’s goalkeeper was in inspired form, particularly in the first half, ensuring his side had the platform to snatch all three points at the death. Asenjo saved brilliantly from Marcelo’s thumping drive and turned Cristiano Ronaldo’s swerving free-kick onto the bar, but arguably his best stop was from point-blank range as Ronaldo looked certain to convert Isco’s cross in the last seconds of the opening period.

Moment of the match


With Real running out of ideas, Villarreal easily dealt with a poor corner in the 87th minute and launched a quick counter-attack which sent Denis Cheryshev racing clear down the left. His pass found Enes Unal in the centre of the penalty area and although Unal’s shot was blocked by the onrushing Keylor Navas, it landed to Fornals to chip a first-time shot over the despairing goalkeeper.

Stat attack

Player ratings

Cristiano Ronaldo
(Paul White/AP)

Villarreal: Sergio Asenjo 10, Gaspar Mario 7, Daniele Bonera 6, Gonzalez lvaro 6, Costa 7, Samu Castillejo 7, Rodrigo 6, Trigueros 6, Pablo Fornals 8, Daniel Raba 6, Bacca 7. Subs: Denis Cheryshev (for Raba, 46) 8, Enes Unal (for Bacca, 76) 7, Antonio Rukavina (for Castillejo, 83) 6.

Who’s up next?

Leganes v Real Madrid (Copa del Rey, January 18)

Villarreal v Levante (LaLiga, January 20)

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