Real Madrid 0 Villarreal 1: Fornals' late show stuns frustrated champion

Ruben Hill
January 13, 2018

Former Real Madrid captain Fernando Hierro leapt to the defence of Zinedine Zidane, urging the club to be sensible as pressure builds on the under-fire head coach amid their struggles.

Another poor result, another round of jeers for Real Madrid.

Los Blancos now sit 16 points behind leaders FC Barcelona, after they drew 2-2 with Celta Vigo last weekend.

"It's signed", said the French star after his side drew 2-2 with Numancia to progress to the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey 5-2 on aggregate.

Real Madrid will kick off on Saturday 16 points behind Barcelona in the race for the league, although the reality now is that rather than focusing on the title, they have to ensure a top-3 finish in the league to avoid a Champions League play-off at the start of next season.

Villarreal meanwhile move up to fifth on 31 points thanks to midfielder Fornals' stunning goal, which puts Javier Calleja's side just a point behind off-form Madrid.

Madrid, which has a game in hand, is only fourth in the standings, behind Valencia and Atletico Madrid.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale will reappear in the Real Madrid line-up for the league match against Villarreal on Sunday, after being left out of the squad for the recent cup match on Wednesday, January 10 against Numancia.

Luka Modric had one of Madrid's best chances in the second half with a shot from inside the area that missed over the crossbar.

Turk Unal shot straight at Keylor Navas when put through by Denis Cheryshev, but with Navas still recovering from making the save Fornals lifted the ball over the flailing Madrid stopper.

Kenyan forward Michael Olunga scored a hat trick to lead promoted Girona to a 6-0 trouncing of last-place Las Palmas.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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