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Real draws at Villarreal before C' League final

Real draws at Villarreal before C' League final

Real Madrid showed Liverpool its strengths and weaknesses a week before their UEFA Champions League final. Madrid squandered first-half goals by Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in drawing at Villarreal 2-2 on Saturday (May 19) in its last match before attempting to win Europe’s most coveted trophy for a third year in a row.

Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo both scored but Real Madrid let a two-goal lead slip as they drew at Villarreal in their last match before the Champions League final against Liverpool. The visitors looked in control at half-time through Bale's smart finish and Ronaldo's simple header. But substitute Roger Martinez scored for Villarreal with 19 minutes left.

Samu Castillejo - also off the bench - beat the offside trap and finished coolly to complete the comeback.

Real Madrid full-back Marcelo was caught out for the leveller, playing Castillejo onside as he failed to push up with the rest of the Real defence. While the finale of the match showed up Real Madrid's lack of cohesion in defence, the first half underlined their individual ability in attack.

Bale, who did not start either of Real's Champions League semi-final legs against Bayern Munich, pressed his case for a starting XI spot in Kiev on May 26.

The Wales international created the opening goal for himself with a clever dummy before the near-post finish that wrong-footed goalkeeper Andres Fernandez.

Ronaldo, who was playing for the first time since an ankle sprain against Barcelona on May 6, backed up manager Zinedine Zidane's assertion that he was "120%" fit as he leapt well to nod in Marcelo's cross.

Real have conceded 44 goals in their La Liga campaign - a stat that compares poorly to the 20 and 29 shipped by Atletico Madrid and champions Barcelona above them.

The way that they allowed Martinez space to get his shot away and Castillejo through on goal will give Liverpool's attacking trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah plenty of encouragement.