Villarreal defeated Real Madrid 2-1 on Saturday, causing Madrid to miss an opportunity to close the gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona in the race for the title.
The win marks Villarreal’s sixth consecutive victory in all competitions and puts a dent in Madrid’s chances of retaining the trophy.
Despite the loss, Madrid is still level on points with Barcelona, who will face Atletico Madrid on Sunday.
The match between the two Spanish giants is shaping up to be a battle for the title. Madrid’s recent performance has been lackluster, with a slim victory in the Spanish Cup over Cacereno and now their second league defeat.
This marks the first time in the club’s history that Madrid has started a game without a Spanish player, according to media reports in Spain.
Villarreal, led by former Barcelona coach Quique Setien, dominated the first half and had several chances to score. Despite Madrid’s efforts to improve in the second half, they were unable to secure a win.