Madrid: Real Madrid warmed up for Champions League final clash against Liverpool with a 2-2 draw against Villarreal in the final match of the Spanish La Liga on Saturday.
Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo both scored in the first half to put the Los Blancos in front but Villarreal produced a brilliant come back in the second half to jeopardize Real’s bid to end their last League match on a high.
Roger Martinez came off the bench to score the first for Villarreal with 19 minutes left before Samu Castillejo, another substitute beat the offside trap and finished coolly to complete the comeback in the 85th minute.
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The visitors started the game well and dominated the possession and at the half an hour time they extended their lead with a simple header from Ronaldo and smart finish by Bale.
A beautiful diagonal pass from Isco was superbly controlled by Marcelo, who provided an exquisite assist with the outside of his foot to Ronaldo who left Andrés Fernández helpless by heading past him.
Yellow submarines started the second half with more determination as they upped their game and came close to pull one back when Enes Ünal’s headed effort was saved by captain Sergio Ramos.
However, the hosts found the net when Martínez crashed the ball home following a fine solo run before Castillejo nipped in to score an 85th-minute equaliser.
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Andrés Fernández produced a spectacular save to deny a late Benzema effort from the edge of the area while Ramos failed to hit the target when he pounced on a loose ball in the box as Zinedine Zidane’s side tried their best to find a winner.
Zidane was happy with the result but criticised his players for letting two goals lead away.
“We were good in the first half but in the second period we managed the game with the final in mind. When that happens, the opposition can make life hard for you. The LaLiga season didn’t start well for us but we have finished strongly. We have the biggest game to come and we’re going to enjoy that”. The Boss said in the post-match press conference.
“LaLiga is now over. We have the Champions League to play and we’re thrilled to be in the final. It shouldn’t be a case of choosing. We want to win everything we can, but this year it wasn’t possible to win LaLiga and we are going all out for Champions League glory. I’m not happy with our LaLiga campaign. It has been a difficult season, especially at the beginning. We were able to make things better. We know that is the case and that’s that. We did other good things this year: the trophies we won at the start of the season, the Club World Cup and now we have the final still to come. ” The Frenchman added.
Real will be looking to win third consecutive Champions League trophy when they will meet Liverpool in Kiev on May 26 Saturday.