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Moreno scores winner as Villarreal dent Real Madrid’s title hopes

Yeremi Pino of Villareal FC celebrates scoring his side's first goal with his team matesduring the LaLiga Santander match between Villarreal CF and Real Madrid CF at Estadio de la Ceramica on January 07, 2023 in Villarreal, Spain. Image credit: Getty Images
Yeremi Pino of Villareal FC celebrates scoring his side’s first goal with his team matesduring the LaLiga Santander match between Villarreal CF and Real Madrid CF at Estadio de la Ceramica on January 07, 2023 in Villarreal, Spain.

Image credit: Getty Images

Real Madrid fell to defeat at Villarreal who deservedly took the three points at the Estadio de la Ceramica.

After a first half dominated by the home side, Villarreal took the lead shortly after the break when a mistake by Ferland Mendy presented the ball to Gerard Moreno at the edge of the area and he squared left to Yeremi Pino to beat Thibaut Courtois.

Real were level just before the hour mark when a penalty was given for an inadvertent handball from Juan Foyth in the box and Karim Benzema converted.

Another spot kick proved to be the winner as just four minutes later, a ball from Foyth was handled by the falling David Alaba and Gerard Moreno netted the crucial goal.

Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr both had gilt-edged chances to equalise in the closing stages but Villarreal managed to hold on for a win which lifts them level on points with fourth-place Atletico Madrid while Real are still behind leaders Barcelona on goal difference.

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