Real Madrid extended their unbeaten run in 2014 with a hard-fought victory against Villarreal. Los Blancos got unlucky with the injuries of Marcelo and Fabio Coentrao, but they were able to control the game in the first half and seal the victory with their lethal counter-attacks in the second.
Carlo Ancelotti men took the lead inside seven minutes following a poor piece of defending from Chechu Dorado. The Welshman stole the ball off the centre-back and chipped a brilliant effort over Sergio Asenjo.
Villarreal’s defence struggled in the first minutes and Luka Modric was about to make it 2-0, but his shot from inside the box was blocked by Dorado.
Bale was a headache for the visitor’s left-back Jauma Costa. Another great play by the former Tottenham Hotspur player ended up with Karim Benzema turning a cross from the Welshman into the back of the net.
Villarreal improved after the goal and tried to cause some trouble for Los Merengues. In fact, just before half-time, right-back Mario Gaspar cut the deficit to 2-1 with a stunning strike into the top corner.
Unluckily for Los Blancos, Carlo Ancelotti had to make two substitutions in the left-back position before the second half. Fabio Coentrao came in to replace injured Marcelo before the half-hour mark, but the Portuguese also had to leave the pitch at half-time with physical problems, leaving his spot to Alvaro Arbeloa.
Marcelino Garcia Toral men improved in the second-half and took the lead in the game. However, Jese Rodriguez made it 3-1 with a brilliant touch in a counter-attack.
Giovani dos Santos sent a superb free into the top corner to give Villarreal some hopes of scratching a point, but Benzema sealed the victory in another counter-attack lead by Jese.