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Real Madrid Missed Out on Record-Breaking

Madrid
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Real Madrid missed out on a record-breaking 17th consecutive La Liga victory as they drew with Villarreal.

The hosts fell behind just before the break when Sergio Ramos used his hand to block a shot in the box and Bruno Soriano chipped in from the spot.

Ramos made amends soon after the restart, heading in from a corner.

Zinedine Zidane’s side put the visitors under concerted pressure throughout the second half, but Villarreal held on to deny Real the outright record.

Instead they will have to share the record of 16 straight wins set by Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona side in the 2010-11 season.

However a point ensures they remain top of La Liga, four points ahead of Barcelona, who could only draw 1-1 with Atletico Madrid.

Both sides of Ramos

Not many players switch between the roles of hero and villain as easily as Sergio Ramos and the volatile defender once again played both parts expertly either side of the interval.

For the second game in a row he tried to disguise a handball by pretending the ball had hit his face. But the referee was having none of it and Bruno outsmarted Real keeper Kiko Casilla with a Panenka-style penalty to give Villarreal the lead. Ramos did the same against Espanyol at the weekend.

It is the third penalty that Ramos has conceded in seven games across all competitions this season, yet the Spaniard made amends, losing his man at a corner and producing a powerful header that gave Sergio Asenjo no chance.

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It was the only one of 17 corners that the hosts converted, with Ramos also unable to persuade the referee to award Real a late penalty as he fell under the challenge of Roberto Soriano.

Real’s front three fail to fire

This was the first game in which Real’s ‘BBC’ front line of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo have all started together – a result of both injury and Zidane’s commitment to rotating his squad.

Yet there were only flickers of the trio’s best football, especially in the first half when a resolute Villarreal stopped Real’s fluid passing game and forced them to resort to shots from distance.

The hosts dominated for long spells of the second half but rarely forced Asenjo into a save, with Benzema guilty of heading over two chances when well placed before both he and Bale were substituted before the end.

A night of frustration for Real’s talisman Ronaldo was complete when he finally found the target, only to see his effort parried away by Asenjo before slamming a late free-kick straight at the Villarreal keeper.


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