That result keeps Real Madrid in fourth place, seven points behind Barcelona at the top of the Liga table. Solari will view this as two points dropped, but in truth Real Madrid got what they deserved. They were poor in the second half and Villarreal deserve credit for the way they fought back. Cazorla was excellent.
- 2nd Half
- CaseresToko Ekambi63'
- 1/2 Time
- 1st Half
Villarreal CF - Real Madrid
Liga - 4 January 2019
Liga – Follow the Football match between Villarreal CF and Real Madrid live with Eurosport. The match starts at 04:30 on 4 January 2019. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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- End of 2nd Half
FULL TIME: Villarreal 2-2 Real Madrid
- Yellow cardJaume CostaVillarreal CF
Costa picks up a booking for a late tackle on Vazquez. He will also miss the game against Eibar in four days time.
Chukwueze was in behind! Marcelo was once again nowhere to be seen as the youngster burst in behind the Real Madrid defence, but his pass into the middle was cut out.
Three minutes of stoppage time to be played at the end of the match.
If Real Madrid fail to win this game the decision from Solari to take off Modric while his side were 2-1 up will surely be criticised. His call to take off Kroos was also a strange one.
- OffToni KroosReal Madrid
- OnVinícius JúniorReal Madrid
This is a strange change. Solari has taken off Kroos and thrown on Vinicius for the final few minutes.
Isco effort! Good save from Asenjo to deny the Real Madrid playmaker from putting his side back in front. Asensjo was going the wrong way, but he made the stop with his legs.
Can Villarreal find a winner? On the basis of this second half performance, they would deserve it. It's the home side who have been on top. Real Madrid need to get a grip.
What did Real Madrid expect? They have been so poor in this second half, inviting pressure on top of themselves. Now they are hitting out again, but where was this urgency earlier?
- OffJavi FuegoVillarreal CF
- OnManu TriguerosVillarreal CF
Villarreal make a change right after that second goal, with Trigueros coming on for the home side.
- GoalSanti CazorlaVillarreal CF
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Villarreal 2 (82 mins - Santi Cazorla) Real Madrid 2. That goal had been coming! Cazorla has grabbed his second of the night! Fornals clipped a wonderful cross to the back post and Cazorla was on hand to head down into the ground, through Courtois and into the back of the net!
That's just wasteful. Carvajal did well to pick the pocket of Ruiz right on the edge of the Villarreal box, but Kroos was so slack with his pass and gives the ball away. So cheap.
Benzema is now dropping deep to pick up the ball and drive it forward. It's understandable why he is doing that, but it's just leaving Real Madrid even shorter in attack.
Chukwueze has so much promise, and has been one of the best players on the pitch this evening, but he is still quite raw. When it matters most, the polish on his play is missing.
On this basis, Real Madrid need to strengthen in this January transfer window. They have no depth in the attacking areas. They don't have anyone to change this match.
Is this how much Real Madrid really miss Bale? They have had nobody to carry the ball up the field in this second half since the Welsh winger was taken off with an injury at the break.
Villarreal have been the better team in this second half, there is no doubt about that, but they are lacking cutting edge and that could be the thing that ends up costing them.
Nicely worked! That was almost the perfect goal from Villarreal as Ruiz, Costa and Ekambi try to pass their way through Real Madrid, but in the end it was just one pass too many.
Real Madrid have hardly threatened in this second half. They were on top in the opening 45 minutes and could have scored more than two, but they have barely troubled Villarreal since.
Gonzalez towards the far post! Courtois was scrambling! Gonzalez got his head on the end of a corner kick into the Real Madrid box, but the ball bounced past the far post.
Good play from Ekambi to turn his marker inside out down the left side. He got the cross into the box, Chukwueze controlled, but the block was made to prevent the shot testing Courtois.
Marcelo on target! The Real Madrid left back cuts inside off the left wing and pings off a right-footed shot at goal. It was on target, but the block was made by Ruiz. That was crucial!
It was a bold move by Solari to throw on the youngster Valverde for Modric when Real Madrid are facing a resurgent Villarreal side in this second half. Faith in his young players.
Vazquez should have passed! That should have been a third for Real Madrid. Vazquez bundled his way through, he had Benzema free and square, but he takes the shot himself and Asensjo saves.
That was close! Not far away from an equaliser for Villarreal. Moreno creates the space for the shot, but his low effort flashes wide of the target. Courtois wasn't too sure about that.
- OffLuka ModricReal Madrid
- OnFederico ValverdeReal Madrid
And Solari also makes a change with the youngster Valverde coming on for Modric.
- OffSantiago CaseresVillarreal CF
- OnKarl Toko EkambiVillarreal CF
That's an attacking change from Villarreal, with Ekambi (a striker) coming on for a holding midfielder. Going for it.
Another penalty claim! Gonzalez believes that he was pushed by Carvajal as he challenged for a cross into the Real Madrid box, but the referee didn't see enough in it.
Real Madrid are slipping deeper and deeper into their own half here. Villarreal are now taking the game to them. Some of their crossing has been really dangerous in this second half.
Villarreal have yet to make a change yet, which is surprising. They are well in this game, but they are lacking threat in the final third. Bacca and Ekambi are on the bench.
Isco hasn't really done much to make an impression since coming off the bench. That's been the problem for the playmaker this season. There's speculation he could be sold by Real Madrid.
This is a good spell of possession from the home side. Kroos and Modric are struggling to make the ball stick in the middle of the pitch, although Villarreal look quite toothless in attack.
Villarreal are now trying to press higher on Real Madrid when they have the ball, which isn't the worst idea. However, they must try and stay on their feet. Giving away too many fouls.
Fornals goes down! That was a little desperate from the Villarreal midfielder. He tried to manufacture contact with Carvajal inside the box, but the referee rightly shakes his head. No pen.
Snapshot from Benzema! A shot from Isco was blocked and fell nicely for Benzema, but the French striker sends his shot wide of the target. That was never really troubling Asensjo.
Of course, Real Madrid have ground to make up after their jaunt at the Club World Cup. It's crucial that they win those games in hand to stay within touching distance of Barcelona.
Real Madrid were on top for much of the first half, but as long as it stays 2-1, with just a single goal between the two sides, Villarreal will have a chance. Real need a third goal.
The concerning thing about Bale's injury was that it wasn't the result of an impact or a tackle. He just started holding his calf, which has been a problem for Bale before. Hmmmm
- OffGareth BaleReal Madrid
- OnIscoReal Madrid
As expected, Bale has been withdrawn at the break and Isco has come on as his replacement.
- 2nd Half
The second half is under way! Real Madrid have a 2-1 lead over Villarreal.
What did you make of the first half? Is there any way back for Villarreal? Should Real Madrid be worried by the threat that Chukwueze has posed so far? Tweet me your thoughts!
- End of 1st Half
HALF TIME: Villarreal 1-2 Real Madrid. The visitors have turned around this game after falling behind early on, and on the balance of the opening 45 minutes they probably deserve to be ahead.
- Yellow cardÁlvaro GonzálezVillarreal CF
Gonzalez now goes into the referee's book for going through the back of Benzema. He will miss the next game against Eibar now.
Real Madrid have controlled the majority of this match so far, but Casemiro has struggled and now he'll have to play the rest of the game on a yellow card. Thin, thin ice.
- Yellow cardCasemiroReal Madrid
Casemiro is the first player to be shown a yellow card, hacking down Fornals.
Play has started again, but Bale is moving rather gingerly. He's trying to stretch out his calf and Solari has already sent Isco to warm up down the touchline. Might a change be made soon?
Bale is down! Uh oh. This could be a concern for Real Madrid. Bale has hit the ground and is holding his calf. There didn't seem to be much contact. This is more than an impact injury.
Chukwueze dropped out of the game for about 20 minutes earlier, but he is now seeing more of the ball again and has probably been Villarreal's most effective attacking outlet so far.
Bale is holding his back. He believes that he was barged as he challenged for a ball by Layun. The Real Madrid winger might have had a case. That was a bit rough from Layun.
Layun has really struggled over the opening 35 minutes of this match. However, Bale has been quiet. The Welsh winger hasn't done enough to exploit Villarreal's weak link.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO... NO! This one has been ruled out for offside. Layun gave up the ball cheaply on the edge of his own box. Modric tucked the finish away, but he was offside.
The home fans aren't happy. They believe that their team should have been awarded a corner kick, but replays show that the ball brushed off Chukwueze on its way behind the goal.
Marcelo is really struggling to keep tabs on Chukwueze, who is finding all kinds of space out on the right wing. This time he's offside, but Real Madrid have to be wary of the youngster.
In better times for Cazorla and Villarreal...
Fornals has the ability to take a grip of this game and drive Villarreal forward. He's hugely talented and has recently been linked with Atletico Madrid, who are reportedly interested.
That's better! Right on cue, Chukwueze cuts inside off the right wing and gets the shot away on goal. This time, Ramos helps Marcelo out and between the two the block is made.
Chukwueze has been quiet since that opening five-minute spell when he was giving Real Madrid all sorts of problems. Villarreal need to get the youngster back involved.
Real Madrid came into this game after a break of just one week. They were away in Abu Dhabi before Christmas winning the Club World Cup. The burden of being successful.
The header from Varane for that goal was excellent, but once again, the defending from Villarreal left much to be desired. Might Asenjo have done better with his positioning?
Real Madrid have done well to turn this match around so quickly. It was a shaky start from the capital side, but they have since taken a grip of things and deserve to be ahead.
- GoalRaphaël VaraneReal Madrid
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Villarreal 1 Real Madrid 2 (21 mins - Raphael Varane). Real Madrid have turned this around! Kroos curled a freekick delivery from the right side into the box and Varane jumped higher than everyone else to get on the end of the cross and head into the far corner of Asenjo's net!
The opening goal... ICYMI
Villarreal started off well, but now they are looking vulnerable at the back, particularly behind the full backs. Real Madrid are having a lot of joy in playing balls into those areas.
Benzema needs a better 2019 than 2018. The French striker has come in for some criticism over the past year, but Real Madrid are still reliant on him for goals in the final third.
Casemiro has suffered a difficult start to the match. The Brazilian was out due to injury for a number of weeks before Christmas, so it's possible that he has some rustiness to shake off.
Asenjo save! Benzema did well to thread through the pass for Vazquez, who managed to lose the attentions of his marker. But Asenjo comes off his line to make the save with his legs!
Bale was in behind! That was an opportunity for Real Madrid. Bale was played into space at the byline, he had Benzema free in the middle, but his cut back pass was intercepted!
It must be said that this has been a good response from Real Madrid since going behind. They are controlling things at the moment and look likely to score a second soon.
Navas is sat on the bench, as he has been for much of the season so far. There are reports that the Costa Rican could leave Real Madrid in this January window. Arsenal are thought to be interested.
Not 1-0 now, but the stat still stands.
Nasty tackle! That probably should have been a yellow card. Ruiz was late and reckless down the back of Benzema's leg, but for some reason the Villarreal man gets away with it.
What a start to this game, and what a start to 2019 in La Liga. Real Madrid equalised with their first attack of the match. There could be a few more goals left in this one.
- GoalKarim BenzemaReal Madrid
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Villarreal 1 Real Madrid 1 (7 mins - Karim Benzema). Real Madrid are back on level terms, although there was some confusion! The players heard a whistle, but Benzema was certainly onside when the cross came in from Carvajal. The Frenchman put the header past Asensjo.
It was an excellent team goal from Villarreal, but the defending from Real Madrid was pretty poor as well. Ramos and Marcelo were having words after Cazorla put that chance away.
Well, well, well. What a start to this match by Villarreal. When you see them play like this you have to wonder how on earth they are down at the wrong end of the table this season.
- GoalSanti CazorlaVillarreal CF
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Villarreal 1 (5 mins - Santi Cazorla) Real Madrid 0. It's an early opener and it has gone the way of Villarreal! Chukwueze drives forward through the midfield, plays the perfect pass for Cazorla and the former Arsenal man curls a finish past Courtois and into the back of the net.
Early chance! Fornals released Chukwueze in behind the Real Madrid defence. The young Nigerian could have squared for Moreno, he took the shot on himself and Courtois saves.
Solari has opted for experience for this game. Real Madrid have injuries to contend with at the moment and so the likes of Modric, Casemiro, Kroos and Benzema are starting.
This is a re-arranged fixture. The game was due to be played in December, but Real Madrid were away at the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi, hence why we are here this evening.
- 1st Half
The match is under way! It's Villarreal against Real Madrid in this La Liga fixture.
TEAM NEWS: Villarreal - Asensjo, Layun, Alvaro, Ruiz, Costa, Chukwueze, Caseres, Fuego, Cazorla, Fornals, Moreno. /// Real Madrid - Courtois, Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Vazquez, Benzema, Bale.
Good evening and welcome to Eurosport's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Liga clash between Villarreal and Real Madrid. We'll bring you all the action as it happens. Kick off is at 8.30pm.