NEWS
Saturday May 19 2018
Luca blunder costs Blancos

Luca Zidane's howler gifted Villarreal a point as Real Madrid prepared for the Champions League Final by throwing away a 2-0 lead on Saturday.

See how the action unfolded at La Ceramica with our liveblog!

Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo seemingly put Madrid on their way to ending the season with a victory, but Luca's horrible misjudgment kept them third, while securing another fifth-place finish for Villarreal.

The 20-year-old son of Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane started ahead of Kiko Casilla, with Keylor Navas rested for the trip to La Ceramica. Elsewhere, Ronaldo shook off an ankle injury to lead the line alongside the in-form Gareth Bale.

Los Merengues had won only four of their previous eight matches with Los Amarillos, who won 1-0 the last time these two sides met.

Andres Fernandez was called into action almost immediately to tip Sergio Ramos’ curler around the post, but he could only watch Bale bag his 16th League goal of the season, turning Alvaro Gonzalez inside out, before angling a strike past the goalkeeper.

Luca, meanwhile, saw two angled drives whistle wide, whereas at the other end, Isco’s diagonal ball found Marcelo, who went one better, crossing with the outside of his boot for Ronaldo to glance past Fernandez with his head.

Toni Kroos then glid between two yellow shirts, before smashing a shot destined for the top-right corner - only for the ex-Porto and Osasuna glovesman to get a hand on it.

The second half saw a much-improved Amarillos come out the traps, and Nicola Sansone’s dipping drive was destined for the roof of Luca’s net, but the shot-stopper shuffled over quickly to tip the ball over the bar.

The Italian followed up by pulling off a fabulous roulette at the byline in Madrid’s box, before crossing to Enes Unal, but the striker was header is blocked on the line by Ramos.

That prompted Javi Calleja to throw on Roger Martinez, and first goals didn’t come much better than the Colombian wrongfooting the usually-agile Raphael Varane, before curling a sublime finish across Luca with 20 minutes remaining.

It got worse for the youngster as, despite not being helped by Madrid’s offside trap being caught out by a long ball, he charged into Samu Castillejo but got it horribly wrong, gifting the substitute an empty net.

Madrid did carve out two chances at the death, but Karim Benzema’s rasping effort was tipped around the post by Fernandez and Lucas Vazquez flashed a half-volley desperately wide from a corner.

Villarreal 2-2 Real Madrid

Roger Martinez 70, Castillejo 86 (V) Bale 11, Ronaldo 32 (RM)

Villarreal: Andres; Mario, Bonera, Alvaro, Marin; Soriano, Rodri, Fornals (Castillejo 77), Fuego (Salem 57), Sansone; Enes (Roger Martinez 70)

Real Madrid: Luca; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric (Vazquez 62), Casemiro, Kroos; Isco (Kovacic 73); Bale, Ronaldo (Benzema 62)

Referee: Sanchez Martinez

Football Italia website