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08.02.2014 » Real Madrid 4-2 Villarreal. Merengues pass first test without Ronaldo

Gareth Bale filling in for Ronaldo shoes

Real Madrid and Villarreal clashed at the Santiago Bernabéu this Saturday night, with the hosts claiming the win with a 4-2 final score. Cristiano Ronaldo missed his the first of three suspension league games, but the Merengues showed enough attacking solutions to dismantle the "yellow submarine", with goals coming from Gareth Bale, Benzema (twice) and Jesé Rodríguez.

With Cristiano Ronaldo's ineligible to give his contribution due to his 3-game suspension in La Liga, Real Madrid had to host Villarreal in the Bernabéu this Saturday evening, certainly one of the most dangerous teams in the league. There were some doubts about the Merengues' capabilities of delivering a good performance without their main star in the attack, but fortunately, Ancelotti's men seem to have passed their first test without Ronaldo as they managed to beat Villarreal by 4-2. Gareth Bale was the first to step up in Ronaldo's absence, as not only he scored the opener, but he also assisted Benzema for the second. Later in the game, Jesé Rodríguez scored his team's third goal and Benzema would still show up again to seal the deal and set the final score in 4-2. CR7 will return next Tuesday, to play in the Copa del Rey's semi-finals second leg against Atletico Madrid, as Real Madrid look forward to preserve their fist leg 3-0 home win, in their visit to the Vicente Calderón.

Real Madrid 4-2 Villarreal goals and highlights video:

Real Madrid's first goal this Saturday evening came as being a true gift delivered by the visitors. We were entering the 6th minute of the game when Villarreal's defender Dorado made a capital mistake by losing the ball possession when he was the last man back. Gareth Bale was quick to read his opponent's error, stole him the ball and immediately set himself up with a 1-on-1 goalscoring chance. The former Tottenham winger showed off his finishing skills with a perfect touch that sent the ball beyond's Villarreal's goalkeeper reach, allowing Real Madrid to grab the first lead of the night.

The second goal would came in around the 24th minute of the first half, in a play where Gareth Bale managed to once again make all the difference. The Welshman was clearly feeling comfortable in playing on Cristiano Ronaldo's role and after controlling a bouncing ball on the right, he left his direct opponent behind and assisted Karim Benzema for an easy finish in the near post, extending the lead to 2 goals. Villarreal was struggling to find an answer to stop the Merengues dynamic in the attack, and all that even though the hosts were deprived of their main player, Cristiano Ronaldo.

The visitors managed to respond close to the half-time break and reached their first goal after a terrific finish from their right-back, Mario Gaspar. The Spanish defender had a true moment of inspiration in the 42nd minute, as he released a rocket straight into Diego López' top corner, leaving the former Villarreal goalkeeper with absolutely no chances to stop the shot. That goal allowed the visitors to go into the locker rooms with a totally different mood and promising a lot of action for the second half...

Karim Benzema Real Madrid

However and despite Villarreal's good reaction, it would be Real Madrid scoring the next goal in this game. Angel Di María combined extremelly well with Jesé Rodríguez and sent a great through pass to his teammate that basically allowed him to get inside Villarreal's box with the ball close to his feet and only one opponent close to him. The new Real Madrid rising star got easily rid of the defender by using his body to set himself up in a good position and then deflected the ball from Villarreal's goalkeeper reach, with the outside part of his boot. Spectacular goal from the Jesé, his 4th in the league this season.

Villarreal weren't ready to drop the towel just yet and would come back to discuss the game after a well converted free-kick by the former Barcelona attacking midfielder, Giovani dos Santos. The Brazilian player took a long-distance free-kick and curled the ball around Real Madrid's wall, making it enter very close to Diego López right post. Just like in the visitor's first goal, there wasn't much the Merengues' goalkeeper could have done there...

The final result was set 6 minutes later, when Karim Benzema finished off a great counter-attacking play, that had started at the back by Sergio Ramos. Jesé Rodríguez was the one providing the goal assist this time and Benzema didn't miss his chance to score his 13th goal of the season in La Liga, allowing him to become the competition's 4th top goalscorer, just behind Real Sociedad's Griezmann (14) Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa (20) and his teammate Cristiano Ronaldo (22). Real Madrid returns to action right next Tuesday against Atletico Madrid, for the Copa del Rey semi-finals second leg.

Jesé Rodríguez and Alvaro Arbeloa

Real Madrid line-up vs Villarreal:

Goalkeeper: Diego López
Defenders: Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Carvajal
Midfielders: Illarramendi, Luka Modric, Di María
Attackers: Jesé Rodríguez, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema.

Match stats provided by
Real Madrid
Shots on goal
Corner kicks
Fouls commited
Yellow cards
Red cards
Ball possession

Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Real Madrid will be against Atletico Madrid, next Tuesday night, for the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-finals (February 11, 2014). You can watch Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid, Sevilla vs Barcelona online, Manchester United vs Fulham and Tottenham vs Everton, all matches provided from our football live section.

Real Madrid next game:
Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid
kick-off time (11-02-2014):

Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+7: 03:00
(Madrid) | GMT+1: 21:00
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+0: 20:00
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-2: 18:00
New York (United States) | GMT-5: 15:00
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-8: 12:00
Beijing (China) | GMT+8: 04:00

Sources: / / /

Karim Benzema scoring in Real Madrid 4-2 victory over Villarreal

Jesé Rodríguez, Real Madrid new rising star

Gareth Bale in Real Madrid 2014

Jesé Rodríguez after scoring another goal for Real Madrid

Benzema, Carvajal and Modric, celebrating Real Madrid goal

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