Spanish La Liga
Real Madrid4Villarreal2

Real Madrid 4-2 Villarreal

Gareth Bale scores

Gareth Bale scored the opening goal as Real Madrid beat Villarreal to go top of La Liga.

The Welshman chipped home after seven minutes and assisted Karim Benzema's close-range second.

Mario Gaspar pulled one back with a fierce first-time drive but Jese put Real Madrid in control with a delicate finish.

Giovani Dos Santos scored a brilliant free-kick for the visitors but Benzema sealed it from 18 yards.

Real Madrid, who were without the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo, are now unbeaten in 23 games in all competitions.

And they lead the Spanish league on goal difference after rivals Atletico Madrid lost 2-0 to Almeria. Barcelona, who visit Sevilla on Sunday, could overtake both sides on goal difference with a victory.

Ronaldo's replacement in the team, Bale, took only seven minutes to make his mark when he took the ball off dawdling defender Jose Antonio Dorado to charge into the box and lift the ball over keeper Sergio Asenjo.

He then put in a cross for Benzema, which the France international tucked home at the near post.

Right-back Mario fired past Diego Lopez late in the first half to give the Yellow Submarine hope.

Real re-established their two-goal lead when Angel Di Maria played in 20-year-old Jese, who touched the ball past Asenjo to score for the fourth game in a row.

Giovani curled home a fantastic free-kick from 25 yards out but Benzema clinched the victory from the edge of the box after Jese had laid the ball off to him.

Line-ups

Real Madrid

  • 25López
  • 15Carvajal
  • 12MarceloSubstituted forFábio Coentrãoat 18'minutesSubstituted forArbeloaat 45'minutes
  • 24Illarramendi
  • 3Pepe
  • 4Ramos
  • 19Modric
  • 22Di MaríaSubstituted forAlonsoat 68'minutes
  • 9Benzema
  • 11Bale
  • 20Jesé

Substitutes

  • 1Casillas
  • 2Varane
  • 5Fábio Coentrão
  • 14Alonso
  • 17Arbeloa
  • 21Morata
  • 23Isco

Villarreal

  • 1Asenjo
  • 2Perez MartinezBooked at 59mins
  • 18Costa JordáBooked at 54mins
  • 28Ramos GómezSubstituted forTrigueros Muñozat 58'minutes
  • 5Musacchio
  • 16Dorado Ramírez
  • 17Aquino
  • 21Soriano Llido
  • 9dos Santos
  • 24PereiraSubstituted forPerbetat 68'minutes
  • 27Gómez BardonadoSubstituted forRomán Olléat 63'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Jokic
  • 6Pantic
  • 7Perbet
  • 12Román Ollé
  • 14Trigueros Muñoz
  • 20Gabriel
  • 35Fernández Abarisketa
Referee:
José Luis González González
Attendance:
75,624

Match Stats

Home TeamReal MadridAway TeamVillarreal
Possession
Home62%
Away38%
Shots
Home13
Away10
Shots on Target
Home6
Away3
Corners
Home6
Away3
Fouls
Home10
Away7

Live Text

Match ends, Real Madrid 4, Villarreal 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Real Madrid 4, Villarreal 2.

Corner, Villarreal. Conceded by Álvaro Arbeloa.

Attempt blocked. Joan Román (Villarreal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Giovani dos Santos.

Foul by Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid).

Joan Román (Villarreal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid).

Joan Román (Villarreal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Joan Román.

Asier Illarramendi (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Dangerous play by Joan Román (Villarreal).

Luka Modric (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Manu Trigueros (Villarreal).

Goal!

Goal! Real Madrid 4, Villarreal 2. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jesé following a fast break.

Attempt blocked. Manu Trigueros (Villarreal) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid).

Jérémy Perbet (Villarreal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Xabi Alonso.

Foul by Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid).

Mateo Musacchio (Villarreal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Mario.

Attempt blocked. Álvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jesé.

Attempt missed. Jesé (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Hand ball by Jesé (Real Madrid).

Goal!

Goal! Real Madrid 3, Villarreal 2. Giovani dos Santos (Villarreal) from a free kick with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Real Madrid. Xabi Alonso replaces Ángel Di María.

Substitution

Substitution, Villarreal. Jérémy Perbet replaces Jonathan Pereira.

Foul by Luka Modric (Real Madrid).

Jonathan Pereira (Villarreal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal!

Goal! Real Madrid 3, Villarreal 1. Jesé (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ángel Di María.

Substitution

Substitution, Villarreal. Joan Román replaces Moi Gómez.

Luka Modric (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Manu Trigueros (Villarreal).

Luka Modric (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Giovani dos Santos (Villarreal).

Booking

Mario (Villarreal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Jesé (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Mario (Villarreal).

Substitution

Substitution, Villarreal. Manu Trigueros replaces Edu Ramos.

Dangerous play by Asier Illarramendi (Real Madrid).

goal

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