Sep 21, 2016 at 7pm UK at ​Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Real Madrid
Ramos (48')
Ramos (45'), Ronaldo (69'), Kroos (75')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Bruno (45' pen.)
Angel (52')

Live Commentary: Real Madrid 1-1 Villarreal - as it happened

Zinedine Zidane appears prior to the game between Real Madrid and Deportivo La Coruna on January 9, 2016
Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the La Liga clash between Real Madrid and Villarreal at the Bernabeu.

Real Madrid welcomed Villarreal to the Bernabeu on Wednesday night looking to continue their 100% start to the season.

The visitors led 1-0 at the interval of the La Liga clash courtesy of a penalty from Bruno, but Sergio Ramos headed home in the early stages of the second period to level the scores.

Real Madrid had chances to win it late on, but Villarreal held on for a point to continue their own unbeaten start to the new campaign.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

6.01pmEvening all! Sports Mole's live La Liga coverage continues from Madrid as Real Madrid welcome Villarreal to the Bernabeu. The home side have made a 100% start to the season to sit top of the table after four matches, but Villarreal are unbeaten in their four fixtures this term and will be full of confidence. These two have served up some cracking games in recent seasons – let us hope for another!

6.04pmSince the 1998-99 season, these two teams have met on 32 occasions in the league and Real Madrid have recorded 20 victories to Villarreal's three, which is some record. Los Blancos were 3-0 winners when they welcomed the Yellow Submarine to the Bernabeu last season, but Villarreal did record a 1-0 victory at El Madrigal when Roberto Soldado scored an eighth-minute winner.

6.07pmVillarreal did nick a point in a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu during the 2014-15 campaign, however, and will not be overawed in tonight's match. Right, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the team news from the Spanish capital. A certain BBC might, just might be back together tonight!

Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo celebrate Real Madrid's third goal during the La Liga match against Almeria on December 12, 2014© Getty Images


REAL: Casilla; Danilo, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Kovacic, Kroos, James; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo

VCF: Asenjo; Mario, Musacchio, V.Ruiz, Angel; Bruno, Trigueros; Jonathan, Castillejo, Cheryshev; Sansone

6.13pmSorry about the spoiler, but as you can see, both Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo are back in the Real Madrid XI tonight. Bale missed the 2-0 win over Espanyol due to a hip problem, while Ronaldo had the flu. The pair return to join Karim Benzema in the final third, while Danilo, Raphael Varane and Mateo Kovacic are also handed starting roles. James Rodriguez keeps his spot after netting against Espanyol.

6.16pmAs for Villarreal, Jonathan dos Santos and Denis Cheryshev both come into the XI, with Alexandre Pato among those dropping to the bench. Nicola Sansone scored twice against Real Sociedad at the weekend and will lead the line once again, while Mateo Musacchio and Victor Ruiz continue at the heart of the defence. It does appear that the Yellow Submarine will play a flexible 4-2-3-1 tonight.

6.19pmSo there we have it. The two teams are in and we are now just about 40 minutes from kickoff on this warm evening in Madrid. I shall talk about Villarreal a little bit later, but let's start with the home team Real Madrid, who have a 100% record in La Liga this season from four matches. Indeed, a total of 12 points has left them top of the division - three points clear of second-place Barcelona.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane celebrate after the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid on May 28, 2016© AFP

6.22pmIncredibly, Sunday's 2-0 win at Espanyol was Real Madrid's 16th straight La Liga victory and tonight, they are attempting to make it a league-record 17 wins. A brilliant end to last season was not enough to take the La Liga title from Barcelona, but Zidane's side have made a strong start to the new campaign and victory tonight would see them move six points clear of Barcelona, who host Atletico Madrid in the 9pm kickoff, which I shall also be covering on Sports Mole. Some match that should be!

6.25pmReal Madrid opened their 2016-17 campaign with a comfortable 3-0 victory at Real Sociedad, before recording a 2-1 win at home to Celta Vigo to make it two wins from their opening two league fixtures. Then came a 5-2 home victory over Osasuna in a match where Ronaldo made a scoring return after missing the start of the new season with the knee problem that he picked up in the final of Euro 2016.

6.28pmReal Madrid were actually outclassed by Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon in their opening Champions League group match last week, but a Ronaldo free kick in the 89th minute levelled the scores at 1-1, before Morata won it in the 95th minute. It was tough on Sporting, but Los Blancos showed their character in the latter stages as their Champions League title defence started with a win.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring his first during the La Liga game between Deportivo La Coruna and Real Madrid on May 14, 2016© AFP

6.32pmThen came the 2-0 win over Espanyol at the weekend, where goals from James Rodriguez and Benzema secured all the points. Neither Ronaldo nor Bale were available for Los Blancos, but they managed to get the job done. As a result, Real Madrid have not dropped points in the league since they lost 1-0 at home to Atletico Madrid on February 27, which seems an absolute lifetime ago!

6.35pmFor all the praise aimed at Real Madrid, there is no getting away from the fact that they have not won La Liga since 2012. Atletico are sure to provide a stern challenge once again and it will be very tough to take the title from Barcelona, but the Catalan outfit have already dropped three points this season at home to Alaves. It should be a cracking battle for the crown once again this term.

6.38pmAs for Villarreal, they had a strange start to the season after head coach Marcelino was sacked on August 10 due to 'differences with the board of directors'. It was a decision that shocked Spanish football, especially with the 51-year-old leading the Yellow Submarine to a fourth-place finish last term. Marcelino is now gone and Fran Escriba is the new head coach at Villarreal.

Villarreal's coach Marcelino Garcia Toral reacts during the Spanish league football match Real Valladolid FC vs Villarreal CF at Jose Zorrila stadium in Valladolid on January 25, 2014© Getty Images

6.42pmLast season's fourth-place finish qualified Villarreal for participation in the Champions League, but the Yellow Submarine were knocked out by AS Monaco in the playoff round and as a result, have dropped into the Europa League. Indeed, they played their first Europa League group match last week and a 2-1 victory over Zurich ensured that they made a positive start to the competition.

6.45pmAs for the league, Villarreal opened the new campaign with a 1-1 draw away to Granada, before drawing 0-0 at home to Sevilla in their next match. They put their first three points on the board with a 2-0 success at Malaga on September 10, before beating Real Sociedad 2-1 at the weekend to move onto eight points, which has left them in sixth position in the table.

6.48pmIt was a very busy summer for Villarreal as Eric Bailly, Samu Garcia, Denis Suarez and Tomas Pina all departed the club. There were plenty of incomings, however, with Roberto Soriano, Sansone, Alfred N'Diaye, Cristian Espinoza, Cheryshev, Alvaro Gonzalez and Pato all arriving for transfer fees, while Jose Angel, Santos Boore and Andres Fernandez arrived on loan. Plenty of medicals took place!

Brazilian Alexandre Pato practices at Corinthians' training center in Sao Paulo on January 31, 2012© Getty Images

6.52pmIt is worth remembering that Villarreal actually dropped into the Segunda Division for the 2012-13 season, but since returning to the top flight, they have finished sixth, sixth and fourth in their three campaigns. There is no question that this is a team to be respected and they will expect to make another strong challenge for a top-four finish this season. Kickoff is just around the corner now!

6.55pmA reminder of the two teams for tonight's match...

REAL: Casilla; Danilo, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Kovacic, Kroos, James; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo

VCF: Asenjo; Mario, Musacchio, V.Ruiz, Angel; Bruno, Trigueros; Jonathan, Castillejo, Cheryshev; Sansone

6.58pmThe pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. The Bernabeu expects tonight. Can Real Madrid record a 17th straight league win? Villarreal will hope not!

0 minKICKOFF! Real Madrid kick things off here...

2 min... just a reminder that Barcelona will face Atletico Madrid in the 9pm kickoff tonight and I shall also be bringing you live coverage of that one! First to the Bernabeu though as Real Madrid look to continue their 100% start to the new campaign. Not a full stadium tonight, but there is a good atmosphere.

4 minNot too much to report in the opening four minutes of this match, but Real Madrid are very much in control of the possession as they pass and probe in the Villarreal half. Patient play at the moment.

6 minVillarreal are enjoying their share of the possession here as they attempt to work the ball into the Real Madrid half, but the home side are really threatening on the counter attack and smart work from Benzema brings a corner, which Asenjo collects above Ronaldo. Nice, open game here.

8 minJust a reminder that Villarreal are also unbeaten this season so it is no easy task for Real Madrid tonight, despite their impressive run against the Yellow Submarine. Bale again breaks clear for the home side before delivering, but Ruiz is on hand to clear at the near post for another corner kick.

11 minHalf-chance for the home side as Danilo delivers a stunning cross into the Villarreal box, but Mario does really well to challenge Bale, who cannot get a clear touch on the ball. Real Madrid are very much in control of the possession at the moment, but still no clear chances to report in this one.

12 minHalf-chance for Real Madrid once again as the ball falls for Benzema inside the Villarreal box, but the striker can only fire wide under pressure from Ruiz, who has started this game really well.

15 minVillarreal are struggling to get going in the final third at the moment, but they are pretty comfortable at the back as Real Madrid struggle to find that elusive pass. You just get the feeling that the first goal tonight - if there indeed is one - could be vital. Villarreal are a tough team to break down.

17 minStill waiting for the game's first shot on target, but Real Madrid are the team pressing as they pass and probe in the final third. Credit to Villarreal for keeping things extremely tight at the back here.

19 minNot too much of an atmosphere inside the stadium at the moment, which is credit to Villarreal for stopping Real Madrid from functioning in the final third. No opportunities for either team thus far!

19 minSAVE! Cracking stop from Asenjo as the Villarreal goalkeeper keeps out a close-range header from Benzema, who had connected on a header from Bale. First real chance of this match.

21 minTrigueros tries his luck for the away side after finding space outside the Real Madrid box, but his effort was always drifting wide of the post. Villarreal are struggling to threaten at the moment.

23 minPass, pass, pass from Real Madrid as they attempt to work space in the final third, but Villarreal are keeping their defensive shape and it is very difficult to work enough space to have a shot.

26 minVillarreal have started to enjoy more of the ball in the last few minutes, but they are also finding it difficult to create space in the final third. Both defences are dominating this game at the moment.

28 minJust a reminder that I will be bringing you live coverage of Barcelona versus Atletico Madrid from around 8.50pm tonight so be sure to join me for that one also! Not too much to report at the Bernabeu at the moment as both teams continue to cancel each other out. Villarreal are comfortable.

29 minSAVE! Brilliant chance for the away side as Cheryshev finds space outside the Real Madrid box before firing one towards the top corner, but Casilla tips the ball over the crossbar!

32 minBoth teams have had decent chances to make the breakthrough tonight, but Asenjo made a smart stop to keep out a header from Benzema, before Casilla tipped a Cheryshev effort over the crossbar. Ronaldo heads straight at Asenjo from close range, but the referee had blown his whistle.

34 minLittle over 10 minutes of the first period remaining and we are still goalless at the Bernabeu, but Real Madrid have upped their level in the last few minutes and this is a testing period for Villarreal.

34 minRonaldo misses the target with a strike from distance.

36 minAlvaro Morata was very unfortunate not to start tonight's match and I am certain that we will see the Spaniard at some point in the second period, especially if the score remains goalless. Not too much to report in the last few minutes as Villarreal kill the game with a period of sustained possession.

38 minGood spell for Villarreal in the last couple of minutes as they break up a series of Real Madrid attacks before threatening down the other end. It has been a strong period for the visitors.

39 minBale strikes wide from distance as Real Madrid's frustration continues.

42 minSansone breaks into the Real Madrid box and looks to return a pass into Jonathan, but Danilo is on hand to make the clearance as Villarreal waste what was a good opportunity. Real Madrid are really struggling to get going here and it is the visitors that are enjoying more of the possession now.

44 minREAL MADRID SUB! Carvajal replaces the injured Marcelo for the home side.

45 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Villarreal to score late in the half as Sansone breaks into the Real Madrid box before feeding Cheryshev, but Ramos somehow makes a last-ditch tackle!


45 minBOOKING! Ramos (Real Madrid) is booked for handling inside the box!

45 min+1GOAL! Real Madrid 0-1 Villarreal (Bruno, pen)

45 min+1Bruno fires his effort past Casilla for 1-0 Villarreal!

45 min+2HALF-TIME: Real Madrid 0-1 Villarreal

7.49pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with Villarreal leading 1-0 courtesy of a penalty from Bruno in the 45th minute. Real Madrid have had opportunities to make the breakthrough, but it has been another disappointing first period for the hosts, who are in trouble!

7.54pmSTATISTICS! Real Madrid have shaded the possession with 56%, while they have had seven attempts, but only one of them really tested Asenjo in the Villarreal goal. The visitors, meanwhile, have hit the target with two of their six attempts. Just the one booking to report - Ramos for handball.


46 minRESTART! Real Madrid resume the action here...

47 min... no changes from either side at the interval, which is not too much of a surprise. However, I suspect that both managers will make changes as the second period develops in the capital.

48 minAs expected, the home side have been in control of the possession since the restart, but Villarreal defended very well in the first period and it has been more of the same at the start of this half.

48 minGOAL! Real Madrid 1-1 Villarreal (Ramos)

49 minReal Madrid level the scores as Ramos heads a James corner into the back of the net!

51 minVillarreal just need to be careful here as Real Madrid continue to dominate the ball and indeed force the issue in the final third. It is all one-way traffic in the early stages of the second period here.

53 minBOOKING! Angel (Villarreal) is booked for a late challenge on Bale.

55 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the last few minutes, but Real Madrid are still in control of the possession here and are indeed committing players in the final third of the field.

58 minAnother half-chance for the home side as James delivers a stunning cross towards Benzema at the far post, but Ruiz just about does enough to clear under pressure. Little over 30 minutes of this match remaining and in truth, it has been all one-way traffic since the restart in the capital.

60 minCHANCE! Super chance for the home side as Carvajal delivers a low cross towards Ronaldo, but the Portuguese just cannot make contact. It looked to be a certain goal!

62 minJust a reminder that Real Madrid are chasing a 17th straight league win tonight and they still have around 30 minutes to score a second goal. Villarreal are preparing their first change here.

64 minVILLARREAL SUB! Soriano replaces Cheryshev for the away side.

66 minCHANCE! Chance for Bale this time as Benzema finds the Welshman in the final third, but his effort is just wide of the far post. Looked to be finding the bottom corner there!

68 minLittle over 20 minutes of this second period remaining and Villarreal are struggling to deal with Real Madrid, who continue to commit players in the final third. Still no sign of Morata, but I suspect that the Spaniard will be introduced in the next five or 10 minutes here. Still plenty of football to play!

70 minBOOKING! Ronaldo (Real Madrid) is booked for a foul on Bruno.

72 minReal Madrid again work the ball into a wide area and James delivers towards the far post, but there is too much power for Ronaldo and Bale. The home side are preparing to make changes here.

73 minREAL MADRID SUB! Vasquez replaces Bale for the home side.

74 minVILLARREAL SUB! Pato replaces Sansone for the away side.

76 minStill plenty of football to be played in this match, but there is no getting away from the fact that Villarreal deserve to be level at this stage of events. They have more than matched the hosts tonight.

76 minBOOKING! Kroos (Real Madrid) is booked for a foul on Castillejo.

77 minREAL MADRID SUB! Morata replaces Benzema for the home side.

79 minMorata is immediately involved as he finds space down the right before delivering, but Asenjo is on hand to claim and immediately release Pato in a wide position. You just get the feeling that there is another goal in this match, but it would be tough on either team. A draw is about right.

82 minNot much of an atmosphere inside the stadium at the moment - more nerves than anything. It is just so delicately balanced due to Villarreal's threat on the counter-attack. Kroos hits one from distance as the home side test Asenjo, but the goalkeeper manages to save and hold on.

84 minSAVE! Stunning save from Asenjo to keep out a close-range Morata header!

86 minSAVE! An even better save from Asenjo as the Villarreal goalkeeper somehow keeps out a strike from Vasquez, who looked certain to score from inside the box!

88 minVILLARREAL SUB! N'Diaye replaces Dos Santos for the away side.

90 minVillarreal somehow scramble it clear once again after another dangerous cross arrives inside the box. Real Madrid continue to press and press, but time is starting to run out for the hosts here.

90 min+1SAVE! Asenjo again keeps out Ronaldo from close range.

90 min+2We are into the second minute of stoppage time at the Bernabeu.

90 min+3Villarreal continue to hack the ball clear as we approach the final seconds.

90 min+4FULL-TIME: Real Madrid 1-1 Villarreal

8.50pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with the two teams playing out a 1-1 draw in the capital. What a result for Villarreal! Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to stick around for coverage of Barcelona versus Atletico Madrid!

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