Zinedine Zidane‘s Los Blancos sat fourth in the league table before kick-off while their hosts were in second, two points ahead, albeit with a game extra played.
The Yellow Submarine hired Unai Emery in the close-season and recruited well in the transfer market, and alongside league leaders Real Sociedad look to be strong outfits this season.
To make things more difficult for Madrid, they came into the clash with a slew of injuries and illnesses in the camp.
They managed, however, to get things off to a good start, Mariano deputising well for Karim Benzema with a goal inside three minutes.
Villarreal – Real Madrid 1st goal for Mariano , 1st half pic.twitter.com/SO5ctSaFwF
— A.Selmi (@se87498571) November 21, 2020
Returning right-back Dani Carvajal floated in a good ball to tee up the Spanish-Dominican to finish and settle Madrid nerves ahead of a big game.
The linesman had raised his flag to indicate it was offside, but VAR confirmed it to be valid.
Featured image courtesy of Real Madrid CF.