First Division - Day 17

Real Madrid 1 - Villarreal 0

Madrid: Casillas; Sergio Ramos, Cannavaro, Pepe, Heinze; Lassana Diarrà (Van der Vaart 78'), Gago; Sneijder, Raúl, Robben (Metzelder 90'); Huntelaar (Drenthe 55'). 4-2-3-1.
Villarreal: Diego López; Ángel, Gonzalo, Godín, Capdevila; Marcos Senna (Ibagaza 69'), Eguren; Cazorla, Nihat (Llorente 46'), Pires (Cani 79'); Rossi. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Madrid: Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Heinze, Lassana Diarrà, Sneijder, Raúl, Huntelaar for Michel Salgado, Metzelder, Marcelo, Guti, Van der Vaart, Drenthe, Higuaín / Villarreal: Nihat for Cani.

1-0. 32. Robben. Cut in from right wing and curled shot wide of Diego López.

Yellow cards: Huntelaar 28', Angel 29', Senna 45', Gago 71', Eguren 75'.

Real Madrid ended the weekend in third spot after a 1-0 win over Villarreal on Sunday evening. Juande Ramos drafted his two new signings in to his line-up, with Huntelaar up front and Lass Diarrà alongside Gago in midfield. Both were trying to impress their boss, as under UEFA rules only one can be registered for the Champions League this season (both players had already played for their former clubs in the UEFA Cup).

Madrid dominated the opening minutes, with Robben, firing a deflected shot against the crossbar. And a few minutes later the Dutch winger got what was to prove the only goal of the game, cutting in from the right before curling an excellent shot wide of Diego López. A minute later Casillas had to be on his toes to keep out Pires, although Huntelaar came close to scoring at the other end after controlling Sergio Ramos's long ball only to see his shot blocked by Diego López.

Pellegrini brought on Llorente at half time and the striker almost immediately brought another good save out of Casillas. Sneijder tested Diego López a couple of times, and Casillas did well to tip a Rossi header over the bar. And Drenthe and Eguren both failed to hit the target later on. An important win though for Madrid, and they move three points clear of their opponents, who drop out of the European spots after a third defeat in a row.