Modric and Ronaldo sink Yellow Submarine


First half goals from Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo saw Real Madrid overcome a potentially tricky trip to Villarreal and march on to their third straight win. The Croatia midfielder broke the deadlock after the half-hour mark with a trademark shot from outside the area and Ronaldo doubled the lead before the break, just moments after a plane paid for by Manchester United fans flew over the Madrigal carrying the message "Come Home Ronaldo." Villarreal had held Real to a 2-2 draw at the Madrigal last season and a month earlier gave Barcelona a run for the money and dominated the early moments of this game. They won two corners in the first two minutes and then striker Ikechukwu Uche forced a smart save from Casillas. Madrid soon settled into the game, however, with Toni Kroos blasting wide and then Ronaldo shooting at Sergio Asenjo and earning a corner. Luciano Vietto missed the target at the other end as the game began to resemble a basketball match, and the Argentinian missed another opportunity not long after. However, just as Villarreal were enjoying their best spell in the game, Madrid struck first. Modric received the ball from Kroos on the edge of the area and beat a man before firing the ball past a helpless Asenjo. Madrid gained in confidence after taking the lead and it was not long before they had another goal. Karim Benzema exhibited why he is so valuable to Madrid in spite of his low goalscoring record by holding the ball up inside the area then cutting it back for Ronaldo to smash into the bottom corner and score his 10th league goal of the season. Villarreal had two great chances to pull one back before the break. Casillas could only parry a shot from Cani back into the danger zone and Vietto squared the loose ball to Uche, who inexplicably blazed over from six yards out with the goal gaping. Manu Trigueros' shot then beat Casillas but was deflected over the bar by the back of Marcelo. Villarreal lost none of their enthusiasm for attacking in the second half but again came up short against Casillas, the Madrid captain getting in the way of two attempts from Gabriel Paulista and a long-range effort from Jonathan dos Santos. At the other end Benzema was denied a goal of his own by a block by Mateo Musacchio, who was then forced off with an injury, meaning Villarreal had to play the final five minutes with 10 men as they had already used all of their substitutions. This was far from a vintage performance from Madrid, but Carlo Ancelotti's side now appear to have found their feet following a patchy start to the season.