Real Madrid seek home comfort as injury hit Villarreal visit the Bernabeu

Real Madrid retains an increased interest in star striker PSG Neymar

Real Madrid retains an increased interest in star striker PSG Neymar

Former Real Madrid captain Fernando Hierro leapt to the defence of Zinedine Zidane, urging the club to be sensible as pressure builds on the under-fire head coach amid their struggles.

Karim Benzema remains a doubt, while Marcos Llorente will be sidelined after suffering a shoulder injury against Numancia and Sergio Ramos is still out with a muscle problem.

It compounded a day of utter frustration for an out-of-form Madrid, which felt it twice should have had a penalty in the first half.

Real fired off almost 30 shots but their accuracy was wayward, with Cristiano Ronaldo among the worst culprits in front of goal.

Ronaldo also had a chance just moments before halftime.

Ronaldo almost scored from close range just before halftime, but his shot was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo in a play in which the forward claimed to be pushed before he hit the ball.


Kroos stung the palms of Asenjo in the 52nd minute as Real Madrid pushed forward, with Ronaldo, Bale and Isco all heavily involved in the action.

Ronaldo went close again shortly after when he hit a stinging drive into the side-netting.

Real were finding it tough to break down the Villarreal defence and introduced Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez for the final 20 minutes.

Luka Modric had one of Madrid's best chances in the second half with a shot from inside the area that missed over the crossbar.

Villarreal are sixth in La Liga, four points behind Real Madrid.

Javier Calleja's project suffered an important loss with the sale of Cedric Bakambu, who had scored nine league goals, to China last week and Calleja's men will travel without the injured quartet of Bruno Soriano, Leo Suarez, Ruben Semedo and Nicola Sansone, while central defender Victor Ruiz is suspended.

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