Thursday, 21 October 2021
Real Madrid frustrated by Villarreal after Atletico beaten by Alaves
AFP , Saturday 25 Sep 2021
Dropped points for Spain’s leading pair allowed Sevilla to make up some ground at the top, with Julen Lopetegui’s side beating Espanyol 2-0 to jump above Atletico and into second

Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema (C) vies with Villarreal's Argentinian goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli during the Spanish League football match between Real Madrid and Villarreal (AFP)
Real Madrid failed to capitalise on Atletico Madrid’s shock defeat by bottom club Alaves on Saturday as they were held to a goalless draw by a determined Villarreal in La Liga.
Spain La Liga results & scorers (7th matchday)
Dropped points for Spain’s leading pair allowed Sevilla to make up some ground at the top, with Julen Lopetegui’s side beating Espanyol 2-0 to jump above Atletico and into second.
Atletico had earlier slipped to their first loss of the season at Alaves who struck their first win, having lost all of their previous five games and failed to score in any of the previous four.
It meant Real Madrid could have gone five points clear by beating Villarreal but settled for a three-point lead after a scruffy performance came in stark contrast to their slick, 6-1 thrashing of Mallorca in midweek.
Marco Asensio scored three and Karim Benzema two in that game but both were quiet at the Santiago Bernabeu, where Carlo Ancelotti got his wish for tighter defending, but at the expense of his team’s fluidity in attack.
Villarreal, meanwhile, remain unbeaten yet have their own problems in front of goal, this their fifth draw from their opening six games, which is enough only for 10th.
They were the better side in the first half, spearheaded by their two speedy wingers in Danjuma on the right and Yeremy Pino on the left.
Danjuma surged past Fede Valverde but his shot was tipped wide by Thibaut Courtois before Pino then created a chance for Paco Alcacer before Francis Coquelin’s follow-up was blocked.
Madrid were restricted to shots from distance as Benzema and Valverde tried their luck while the fans were most animated by an optimistic penalty appeal after Nacho Fernandez was blocked off.
After half-time, Madrid improved, Benzema and Eder Militao both going close with headers while Villarreal looked dangerous too, Danjuma forcing another Courtois save on the break before Pau Torres was inches away from tapping in at the back post.
Ancelotti brought on Eden Hazard and Madrid turned the screw in the last 10 minutes as Hazard crossed for Isco but his header was hacked away. Vinicius cut inside and looked to have the opening, but blazed over.
Atletico Madrid’s attacking problems appear more entrenched as their rocky start to the season continued with a shock 1-0 defeat by Alaves.
Victor Laguardia’s header in the fourth minute was enough for an unexpected victory for Alaves, who sat 20th at kick-off.
Diego Simeone’s side have managed only two wins from their last six games in all competitions and this was the third time in four matches that they have failed to score.
“Obviously we lacked ideas,” said Simeone. “I don’t think it’s a system problem. It’s about aggression, in defence, and other situations.”
Atletico face Barcelona next weekend after travelling to AC Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday, a game made more important after a goalless draw at home to Porto cranked up the pressure in a group that also includes Liverpool.
Simeone again started with Antoine Griezmann alongside Luis Suarez up front, but the pair mustered only one shot between them, from Suarez, with Griezmann outshone by Angel Correa when the Argentinian was brought on in the second half.
The pressure on Griezmann’s place in the starting line-up is increasing. Joao Felix, who was watching from the stands as he served a suspension, will return and Correa looks the most in-form partner for Suarez.
Alaves had been without a goal in almost 400 minutes but scored in the fourth as Laguardia got a run on Stefan Savic at a corner from the right and headed in at the back post.
An uneventful match livened up in the second half as Laguardia was called into defensive action, clearing Rodrigo De Paul’s free-kick off the line after the ball had bypassed everyone in the box.
Alaves should have made the victory more secure but Mamadou Loum and Pina both blazed glorious opportunities over the bar.
Correa had come on for Atletico as Simeone tried to spark his team and the striker went close with a near post drive but was denied, leaving Alaves to see out a remarkable win.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)
Search Keywords:
Real Madrid
La Liga
Short link:

Latest News
Arsenal boss Arteta confident of Lacazette effort amid contract uncertainty
'Stop Counting, Keep Living': Campaign raises awareness on people living.....
Why banning financing for fossil fuel projects in Africa isn't a climate.....
Erdogan threatens to expel 10 Western envoys over Kavala statement
GERD: Talks remain elusive
Bayern Munich coach Nagelsmann tests positive for coronavirus
Egypt’s AOI sets up 4MW solar power plant in Uganda
In Photos: Mo Salah says coming face-to-face with his wax figure at Madame Tussauds.....
3 Afghans from IS group killed near border: Pakistan
Baku frees Iranian truck drivers as ties thaw with Tehran
Most Viewed
UEFA Champions League results & scorers (3rd round, groupstage)
GERD: Talks remain elusive
Match facts: Manchester United v Atalanta (UEFA Champions League)
Egypt to see drop in temperatures starting Wednesday
Up to 6 IPOs of Egyptian state companies to be launched in current FY: Minister
House’s approval of EGP 5 billion loan for EgyptAir a hard win, but will it.....
Match facts: Barcelona v Dinamo Kiev (UEFA Champions League)
At least 19 people killed in road accident on Cairo’s Ring Road
Iraq on the brink of change
Egypt FM Shoukry meets Libyan PM Dbeibah ahead of Tripoli conference to support.....
Also In World
Bayern Munich coach Nagelsmann tests positive for coronavirus
Arsenal boss Arteta confident of Lacazette effort amid contract uncertainty
France up to No. 3 in FIFA rankings, Belgium still No. 1
Sane scores 2 as Bayern beats Benfica without sick coach
Ronaldo saves Man United again with another late winner in CL
UEFA Champions League results & scorers (3rd round, groupstage)
Match facts: Manchester United v Atalanta (UEFA Champions League)
FIFA aims to make World Cup tournament draw on April 1
Egypt Business Opinion WorldArts & Culture Sports Life & StyleAntiquities Books AnalysisHeritage Multimedia​Al-Ahram Weekly About us
© 2020 All Rights Reserved Ahram Online.
HomeEgyptEgypt Home Politics Courts & LawForeign AffairsSocietyHealthUrban & TransportDefenseTourismBusinessBusiness Home EconomyMarkets & CompaniesEnergyTechOpinionWorldWorld Home RegionInternationalAfricaArts & CultureArts & Culture Home FilmMusicVisual ArtStage & StreetEntertainmentArt AlertSportsSports Home Egyptian FootballTalents AbroadWorldNational TeamsAfricaOmni sportsMultimediaLife & StyleLife & Style Home StyleHealthFoodCity LightsAntiquitiesAntiquities Home Ancient EgyptGreco-RomanCopticIslamicMuseumsBooksBooks Home ReviewsNewsAnalysisHeritageHeritage Home WalksFolk ArtsHeritage specialPhoto HeritageInspiring MindsMultimediaAl-Ahram WeeklyAl-Ahram Weekly Home EgyptEconomyWorldOpinionCultureLimelightHeritageFeaturesFocusLivingSufra DaymaEntre nousAutosTravelInterviewsSpecialArtCinemaExhibitionsLecturesTheaterMusic and danceSports