La Liga: Real Madrid vs. Villarreal
The Spanish giants are hoping they can bounce back from their disappointing Champions League defeat when they host Villarreal this evening.
Cameroon international Jean Makoun scored a brilliant second-half goal on Tuesday as Olympique Lyonnais beat Real Madrid 1-0 in the first leg of their round of 16 clash.
“All the credit goes to Lyon,” coach Manuel Pellegrini said. “We did not respond play like we are used to. We lacked mobility and creativity with the ball. We fell to the physical football they enforced.”
In La Liga, Los Blancos have lost only three times, but Pellegrini has warned his team that it is essential that they defeat Villarreal to remain in the title hunt.
After tonight’s encounter against the Castellon club come successive league clashes with Sevilla, Sporting Gijon, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. They also have the second leg of their European tie with Lyon during that spell.
A number of injury problems remain within the squad and Karim Benzema has been ruled out because of a groin strain. However, Madrid will be enhanced by the return of Rafael van der Vaart. Pellegrini will again be relying on Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo who have both been in fine goal scoring form this season.
The match kicks-off at 21:00 CET (3:00 p.m. ET). Who do you think will win?
UPDATE: Gonzalo Higuain and Kaka both netted braces to lift Real Madrid to a 6-2 victory over Villarreal that moved them two points behind leaders Barcelona. Ronaldo and Xabi Alonso also scored for Los Blancos.