Real Madrid held Villarreal to a goalless draw as Gareth Bale, the injured player, returns to action
Gareth Bale was injured but could not make a comeback as Real Madrid held to a goalless draw at Villarreal.
The Wales captain was making his debut for the LaLiga leaders after August. He was Madrid's standout performer, before being substituted in half-time.
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Both teams had chances of winning the match, as Villarreal forward Arnaut Dajuma and Bale struck the woodwork at half-time.
Geronimo Rulli, Villarreal's goalkeeper, made several saves to stop Madrid taking all three points home.
These results saw Carlo Ancelotti's team extend their lead at top to four points, while Villarreal remains in fifth place.
Casemiro, a Madrid midfielder, said that although there were many chances to win the match, it was important to be open to all possibilities. "The coach made sure we performed better in the second half, which will be something we take as encouragement. We are coming to the end of the season, and everyone is doing well.
"The coaching staff push us constantly and we want everything this season. "Madrid was uncharacteristically slow in the first half. They gave up many chances with Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze, who was a menace all through.
Danjuma struck the post, before Thibaut Courtois, Madrid goalkeeper, made a great save to deny Alberto Moreno at the box's edge. The home side was pushing for an opening.
After the break, the visitors looked much better. Bale cut the bar before Vinicius Junior and Vinicius Junior were denied by Rulli.
In stoppage time, substitute Luka Jovic hit the bar as Madrid searched for a late winner. Nacho's follow up was cleared by Serge Aurier.
Ancelotti answered the question "Good question!" when asked after the match whether Bale would face Paris Saint-Germain in Champions League. As I said, I don't know. We'll just have to wait and watch what happens over the next two days.
"Let's hope we can get everyone back. Bale was given an opportunity, and I believe he took it. He was a good player, and he earned the score. He did everything I told him he had to do.