Samuel Chukwueze scored two brilliant goals for Villarreal as they came from behind to defeat Spanish champions Real Madrid 3-2 at the Santiago Bernabeu. The Super Eagles winger took his tally for the season to 13 goals in all competitions for the Yellow Submarine.
Buoyed by their impressive 4-0 win over rivals Barcelona in midweek, Los Blancos were out to whittle their lead atop the La Liga standings. With an eye on their midweek UEFA Champions League Quarterfinal tie against Chelsea, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti opted to shuffle his pack for the game.
The home side took the lead on 16 minutes as Villarreal defender Pau Torres turned a cross from Marco Asensio into his own net.
After seeing his side go behind, Chukwueze, who delivered a Man of the Match display against Real Sociedad last time out, made it his mission to drag the team into the game. The winger went close twice in quick succession, with his composure in front of goal letting him down.
In the 39th minute, the Nigerian winger added his name to the scoresheet in superb fashion. Receiving a pass from Giovanni Lo Celso in the box, Chukwueze sold a feint to Nacho, leaving the Spanish defender on his backside before sending Thibaut Courtois the wrong way with a stroked finish.
Three minutes into the second half, the irrepressible Vinicius Jr restored the home side’s lead. The Brazilian star took the ball from Dani Ceballos before driving into the box and placing an effort past Pepe Reina.
Villarreal pulled level once more in the 70th minute through substitute Jose Luis Morales, whose effort was confirmed by the VAR. The striker was on hand to fire home from close range after a forceful run into the box from Chukwueze saw a loose ball fall into his path.
With ten minutes left on the clock, Chukwueze scored the winner with a breathtaking finish. The winger received the ball from Alex Baena before cutting onto his left foot and unleashing a dipping and curling effort from outside the box that beat Courtois at the far post.
Villarreal held on for a win that takes them up to fifth place in the league, while Real Madrid remain 12 points adrift of Barcelona despite having played a game more. The Yellow Submarine avenged their Copa Del Rey exit at the hands of Real Madrid, whose next task is a home game against Chelsea.