Real Madrid produced a comeback to stun Villarreal and get revenge in the Copa del Rey as they emerged victorious against the Yellow Submarine less than two weeks after suffering defeat in Villa-real in their LaLiga meeting.
The 3-2 win came as Vinícius Júnior, Éder Militão and Dani Ceballos scored second-half goals to deny Villarreal, who had taken the lead through Étienne Capoue and Samu Chukwueze.
Here are three stats that analyse what happened across a dramatic 90 minutes.
31st January 2019: The last time Real Madrid beat a Primera side in the Copa del Rey in 90 minutes
Real Madrid left it late, but this was the first time that they have beaten a top flight Spanish team in the Copa del Rey in 90 minutes in almost four years.
It brings an end to a five-game run without a win in 90 minutes against top flight opposition: Barcelona in the 2018/19 semi-final with a draw in the first leg and defeat in the second, defeat to Real Sociedad in 2019/20, and most recently a draw and win in extra-time against Elche and then a defeat to Athletic Club last season.
That means that you have to go almost four years back to find a win against Primera opposition within 90 minutes in the Copa del Rey, when Real Madrid beat Girona 3-1 at Montilivi in the second leg when the quarter-final stage still had two legs. Karim Benzema scored twice with Marcos Llorente, now of Atlético Madrid, the other scorer for Los Blancos.
Villarreal would have been optimistic of maintaining that run at half-time, but it failed to appear and Real Madrid showed great spirit to mount a comeback and secure the victory.
540: How many games Real Madrid have played since they last conceded 2 goals in the first half in consecutive games
If Carlo Ancelotti was hoping for a reaction from his played at the Estadio de la Cerámica, he would have been very sorely disappointed. When Étienne Capoue broke through to lash the ball into the net with a powerful effort, it became the earliest goal Real Madrid have conceded since the Champions League semi-final first leg against Manchester City in April 2022 at 3 minutes and 14 seconds, the earliest goal conceded this season.
It’s the second time this season that Real Madrid have conceded such an early goal, joining Santi Comesaña’s opener for Rayo Vallecano at Vallecas in November, and the team are yet to win a game in which they have conceded so early on. The earliest goal scored by an opponent in a game which Real Madrid have gone on to win was on the opening day of the LaLiga season, when Largie Ramadan’s sixth minute strike for Almería was later cancelled out.
Ancelotti is trying something different and in many ways he needed to, but the team looks so disjointed and confused to pull off this aggressive press and high-line. Everyone is on a different wave length. These step-ups have been killing us. Militao that time.— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) January 19, 2023
The last time that Real Madrid conceded two goals in the first half of consecutive games as they have against Villarreal and Barcelona was in May 2013. The difference then was that Real Madrid scored 10 goals in return. Both of those games ended in victory, beating Real Valladolid 4-3 and then seeing off Málaga 6-2. At no point in either game were the team 2-0 down as they have been on these two occasions.
It is perhaps to be expected that Real Madrid are struggling defensively given the injury crisis which has robbed Ancelotti of Aurelién Tchouaméni in midfield, as well as David Alaba in defence for both of these games. That doesn’t mean that these figures are any less concerning for a coach who is so methodical.
674: How long Vinícius had gone without a goal before his strike
It had been six games without a goal for Vinícius Júnior before he converted against Villarreal to spark a comeback, a run dating all the way back to the 5-1 thrashing of Celtic at the estadio Santiago Bernabéu in the Champions League in early November.
Since then, he had played 674 minutes for Real Madrid and he had taken 13 shots, adding up to 1.95 xG, without scoring. Criticism began to mount as Real Madrid struggled in front of goal, with only Karim Benzema’s return to form easing the pressure.
The World Cup did fall within that period, and he did score one goal for Brazil against South Korea, but that was his only strike for club and country across a 10-match run.
With this strike, a well-taken and composed finish past young Villarreal goalkeeper Filip Jörgensen, he has ended his goal drought and is now back among the goals. That could be crucial for Real Madrid as they look to regain form.
It was Vini’s 11th goal of the season, and there may be good reason to expect that record to continue. Of his 10 previous strikes, all have come in runs of scoring in consecutive games. In August and September, he scored in five consecutive games. In early October he converted in back-to-back fixtures. In late October and into November, he found the back of the net in three games in a row.
He’ll be looking to maintain that record against Athletic Club, who he has failed to score against in nine previous meetings. Another good omen is that the forward scored his first goal against Villarreal in his 10th appearance against them. So far, his record against Athletic is nine games without a goal.