Real Madrid suffered a 2-1 defeat at Villarreal on Saturday, giving Barcelona a chance to open up a three-point lead in the La Liga title race.
Gerard Moreno scored a penalty and set up Yeremy Pino for the opener as Villarreal climbed to fifth with a third straight league win. Quique Setién’s side started the stronger, with Francis Coquelin rattling the woodwork early on before Pino was denied by Thibaut Courtois from close range.
There was no let-up from Villarreal after the break and the pressure told in the 47th minute when Moreno played in Pino, whose shot beat Courtois through sheer power. Real Madrid rallied and a Juan Foyth handball, awarded by the VAR, allowed Karim Benzema to level from the penalty spot on the hour mark.
Before the visitors could build on their leveller, Villarreal were awarded a penalty just two minutes later as a falling David Alaba was penalized for handball. Real Madrid players protested against the decision furiously but there was no VAR reversal, and Moreno sent Courtois the wrong way from the spot to secure the win.
Villarreal should have added a third in stoppage time as they broke away from a corner with Courtois upfield, but Arnaut Danjuma sent his shot wide of an empty net. Real Madrid have now won two of their last five league games but stay in second, level on 38 points with Barcelona who visit fourth-placed Atlético on Sunday.
The Real Madrid coach, Carlo Ancelotti, accepted the award of Villarreal’s penalty after the match. “The two penalties were correct according to the rules, so of course the referee has to respect it,” the Italian said.
Ancelotti instead placed the blame for the defeat squarely on his players’ performance. “We couldn’t play at their level. We were bad, especially in defence. We tried to create but we were too open in midfield. We should have done more.”
In Serie A, Juventus extended their winning streak to eight games and climbed to second as Danilo’s late goal secured an emotional 1-0 victory at home to Udinese.
Juve, who have not conceded a goal in their winning run, sealed the points in the 86th minute when Federico Chiesa elegantly chested down a high ball inside the box and crossed for an unmarked Danilo to score.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side are now just four points behind Napoli, but the Juventus manager insisted the leaders remain clear favourites. “They have a big advantage, whereas we want to consolidate [in] the top four,” Allegri said afterwards.
Chiesa dedicated the victory to Gianluca Vialli after the legendary former Juventus striker died on Friday. “He was a wonderful person, a real champion, but above all a marvelous human being,” Chiesa told Dazn. “The victory is for him.”
Before the game, the former Juve player Gianluca Pessotto paid an emotional tribute to Vialli at the Allianz Stadium. “Nobody can ever forget the memories you gave us with your football and your goals. We will miss your smile so much,” Pessotto said. “Bon voyage, captain. We love you.”
In the late game, International were denied victory by late Monza leveler as the promoted side earned a 2-2 draw. Matteo Darmian and Lautaro Martínez struck in the first half either side of Patrick Ciurria’s equaliser.
Inter looked set to hold on before Luca Caldirola’s shot was deflected in off Denzel Dumfries in the third minute of injury time. In the earlier match, Florentine edged out Sassuolo 2-1 thanks to Nico González’s late penalty.
In the Coupe de France, Monk crashed out 5-4 on penalties to second-tier side Rodez. Maghnes Akliouche and Wissam Ben Yedder put the Ligue 1 side two goals up, but Joseph Mendes pulled one back before former Monk player Aymen Abdennour scored a late equaliser.
There were plenty of upsets elsewhere at the last-64 stage, with sixth-tier Strasbourg Koenigshoffen top-tier beating Clermont on penalties, and Nice losing 1-0 at third-tier Le Puy-en-Velay. Lyon, Rennes, Marseilles, lens and Nantes all booked their places in the next round.