Real Madrid 0-1 Villarreal: 5 Talking Points
Real Madrid's La Liga chances were effectively ended as Los Blancos fell to a 0-1 win at the Santiago Bernabeu as Villarreal won their first ever La Liga game away to Madrid.
Pablo Fornals scored in the 87th minute to send Villarreal into delirium and twist the knife into Zinedine Zidane's back, as Madrid now find themselves 16 points behind Barcelona, without a game in hand, leaving them in 4th place.
Here are the major talking points from the game:
#1 Second Half Misery
If half-time scores were valid, Real Madrid would be 8 points better off in the table. It wouldn't be enough for Los Blancos to be any close to Barcelona at the moment, but the difference in both sides is stark.
For the opening 73 minutes of their respective games this season, Villarreal held Barcelona and Real Madrid to a goalless draw. While Real Madrid grew increasingly nervous, Barcelona remained calm and stuck to the gameplan, amping up the pressure as Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi scored to go back with a 2-0 win from the Ceramic Stadium.
Los Blancos' first response to the Bernabeu's frustration is to do one thing. Cross. Real Madrid had 11 corners and made nothing of it, Marcelo sent in cross after cross with no reward. When only 2 headers have been scored by the side all season, Zidane ought to really attempt something other than low percentage crosses.
It was rather confusing, as Madrid played quite well in the first half, and fashioned plenty of chances with good football through the middle. Just what is happening to this side in the dressing room?