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La Liga

Breaking! Chukwueze is the star-man as Villarreal down Real Madrid at home



Real Madrid risk falling further behind Barcelona in the LaLiga title race after suffering a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Villarreal at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Yellow Submarine twice pegged back their hosts, with Samuel Chukwueze the key man as he produced two goals and an assist, including a superb winner.

A Pau Torres own goal had given Madrid the lead before Chukwueze tucked home an equaliser, with substitute Jose Morales then levelling the score again after Vinicius Junior had put Madrid back in front following a fine solo run.

However, Chukwueze struck again in a dramatic final 10 minutes to give Villarreal a famous win, with Madrid seeing a late penalty award overturned by VAR.

Vinicius was quickly pulling the strings for Madrid and cut a pass back to Marco Asensio after 16 minutes, who saw his attempt to divert the ball back into the middle deflected into his own net by Torres.


Having missed earlier opportunities, Chukwueze finally took his chance by showing superb skill to beat Nacho on the edge of the box after receiving a pass from Giovanni Lo Celso and expertly dispatching his finish.

Madrid responded just three minutes after the break, Vinicius powering past Chukwueze and Aissa Mandi into the box and firing past Pepe Reina from close range to restore the hosts’ lead.

Mandi had a goal ruled out for offside but an equaliser did follow with 20 minutes remaining, with Chukwueze’s low cross into the box causing panic amongst the Madrid defenders, allowing Morales to stab home at the second attempt.

Chukwueze then struck again, brilliantly curling past Courtois from the edge of the box to put Villarreal ahead, though Madrid thought they had been handed a lifeline with a late penalty.

After Eduardo Camavinga’s run into the box, a penalty was called following an alleged handball from Mandi, though a VAR review showed no contact and the on-field decision was overturned, with Villarreal holding on for an impressive win.


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.