More jeers for Real Madrid after home loss to Villarreal

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, left, waits to kick off with Luka Modric after Villarreal scored during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Villarreal at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul White)

More jeers for Real Madrid after shocking 1-0 home loss to Villarreal in Spanish league

MADRID — Another poor result, another round of jeers for Real Madrid.

Madrid's struggles in the Spanish league continued when it lost to Villarreal 1-0 on Saturday, infuriating fans at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

Pablo Fornals netted Villarreal's winner in the 87th minute, prompting loud boos by the home crowd who three days ago saw their team draw with second-division club Numancia 2-2 in the Copa del Rey.

"There is no explanation for this," coach Zinedine Zidane said. "We did everything we could, we had plenty of chances, but the ball just didn't go in. It's a difficult moment for us. It's tough for the players, they gave their best. We didn't deserve this result."

But Madrid has gone four matches without a win.

"We have endured negative results recently, but we know that we can change this situation by winning again," Zidane said. "We have to start winning, and winning convincingly, then things will change."

The defending champion was 16 points behind league leader Barcelona at the competition's halfway point. The Catalan club can increase the gap when it plays at Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Madrid, which has a game in hand, is only fourth in the standings, behind Valencia and Atletico Madrid.

"In our position we have to look to qualify for the Champions League next year," midfielder Toni Kroos said. "This has to be our goal for the rest of the season, because 16 points is far away."

Zidane's team has already lost more points (22) than in its entire title-winning campaign last season (21).

Villarreal moved to fifth place with the victory, its first ever at the Bernabeu.

"We knew we could make history," Villarreal coach Javier Calleja said. "We played a very smart match."

The host had most of the chances under steady rain. Cristiano Ronaldo, who was also jeered, hit the crossbar from a free kick, and he nearly scored from close range just before halftime but for a brilliant save by goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo.

Gareth Bale had a goal disallowed for offside early in the first half.

Fornals' goal came after a great save by Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas following a counterattack. Fornals picked up the loose ball just outside the area and chipped it over the goalkeeper for the stunning winner.

It was Madrid's third home loss this season. It has won only half of its games at the Bernabeu.

ATLETICO STAYS CLOSE

Second-place Atletico Madrid overcame Diego Costa's absence to beat Eibar 1-0 and move within six points of leader Barcelona.

Kevin Gameiro, Costa's substitute, scored in the first half and Jan Oblak played solidly in goal for the rest of the match to secure Atletico its fourth straight win in all competitions.

"We played the type of match we needed," Atletico coach Diego Simeone said.

Costa was suspended because of a red card for celebrating too close to the fans in the previous game.

VALENCIA WINS

Third-place Valencia took advantage of an embarrassing blunder by goalkeeper Ruben to defeat Deportivo La Coruna 2-1 and remain two points behind Atletico.

Ruben wasn't able to stop a weak first-half shot by Goncalo Guedes, letting the ball roll underneath him.

Ruben couldn't do much to stop Valencia's second goal, however, as Rodrigo's shot from outside the area deflected off a defender.

The host's lone goal came with a just few minutes left.

It was the third win in a row for Valencia in all competitions. It is eight points behind Barcelona and eight in front of fourth-place Madrid.

GIRONA ROUT

Kenyan forward Michael Olunga scored a hat trick to lead promoted Girona to a 6-0 trouncing of last-place Las Palmas.

Las Palmas could have left the bottom of the standings with a draw but it never challenged at Montilivi Stadium, seeing its winless streak reach seven matches in all competitions.

Las Palmas has only 11 points from 19 matches.

Christian Stuani opened the scoring for Girona from a penalty kick midway through the first half, and the other five came in a 22-minute span in the second period.

___

More AP Spanish soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/LaLiga

___

Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni

Related News

At 3rd big tourney in a row, Belgium should start...

Sep 4, 2017

Belgium is going to a major tournament for the third straight time and it should start to live up...

Celtic easily beats Anderlecht 3-0 in Champions...

Sep 27, 2017

Celtic took a big step toward at least a spot in the Europa League when it beat Anderlecht 2-0 away...

Lukaku gives Belgium 1-0 win over Japan in...

Nov 14, 2017

Romelu Lukaku turned into Belgium's savior again and became the nation's all-time top scorer as he...

Tolisso leads Bayern over Anderlecht 2-1 in Group...

Nov 22, 2017

Corentin Tolisso set up one goal and scored another to give Bayern Munich a 2-1 win over Anderlecht...

Bolivia opens 'Evo museum' dedicated to...

Feb 3, 2017

School notebooks, a boy's sandals and T-shirts given to him by famous soccer players are among the...

Rapinoe's return comes in time for quarterfinal...

Aug 10, 2016

Megan Rapinoe's return is coming at just the right time for the United States

You may also like these

Bolivia opens 'Evo museum' dedicated to...

Feb 3, 2017

School notebooks, a boy's sandals and T-shirts given to him by famous soccer players are among the...

Brazil dismisses feeling of revenge in final vs...

Aug 19, 2016

Brazilians know the 7-1 loss to Germany's senior team at the World Cup will never be forgotten

The good, the bad and the ugly of the Rio Games

Aug 21, 2016

The good, the bad and the ugly of the Rio Games

Brazil brings 7 Olympic champions to World Cup...

Aug 22, 2016

Seven players who won gold for Brazil at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics are in new coach Tite's squad...

Rio police investigate looting at Maracana Stadium

Jan 11, 2017

Police are investigating the theft of several items from the iconic Maracana Stadium in Rio de...

Sign up now!