The jubilation for Real Madrid following their 4-0 win over Barcelona lasted only a couple of days as they fell 3-2 at home to Villarreal.
Los Blancos went ahead early thanks to an own goal from Pau Torres.
In the 39th minute, the Sameul Chukwueze show started as he toyed with Nacho inside the box before equalizing.
Vinicius Jr. put Real Madrid back in the lead only three minutes into the second half with some solo magic of his own.
Chukwueze added an assist to his contributions as he was completely unmarked on the right. Despite being marked by two Real Madrid defenders, he managed to slip in a ball and after a deflection, Jose Luis Morales put it in the back of the net. While it was initially called offside, the call was correctly reversed after a VAR check.
Chukwueze delivered the nail in the coffin in the 80th minute as he once again managed to get away from Nacho, cut inside and then let a shot rip that left Thibaut Courtois with no chance at stopping.
Madrid thought they had a chance to equalize only moments later as the referee whistled for a penalty and called a handball on Aïssa Mandi. Following another VAR check, the call was reversed as the ball actually hit Mandi in the chest.
Villarreal hung on for the win and weathered the seven minutes of added time. It was the second time Villarreal beat Real Madrid this season, taking the first fixture at home by a 2-1 score.
“It was a difficult game, it was hard to win the ball back, they controlled it well,” Carlo Ancelotti said after the game. “We had chances and we could have made it 3-1, then the rhythm dropped. We could have defended better. The truth is it was hard for us to be 100% motivated, that’s normal.”
The loss could potentially put Madrid 15 points behind Barcelona who face Girona at the Camp Nou on Monday.
The game proved to be a high-scoring one but there were still more fireworks well after the game was over. Reports started making the rounds claiming Federico Valverde punched Álex Baena. Valverde allegedly waited for Baena and blindsided him as Baena was on his phone when the altercation occurred.
Some reports are claiming Valverde did so after Baena made comments about Valverde’s unborn child. Valverde’s partner had a miscarriage in February. Baena has since come out and denied those allegations.
It will be interesting to see what comes of this, if anything.
Real Madrid now have to put their latest defeat in the back mirror as they host Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Wednesday.