Depleted Real draw at Villarreal after yet another penalty

Real, which was beaten 4-1 by Valencia in its last league game, is fourth in the standings on 17 points, while Villarreal is second on 19.

Zinedine Zidane's side was missing seven players through injury and illness, including the indispensable trio of Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema and Casemiro.   -  Getty Images

Real Madrid conceded a fourth penalty in two games as it drew 1-1 at Villarreal in La Liga on Saturday, dropping points for the second game in a row.

Zinedine Zidane's side was missing seven players through injury and illness, including the indispensable trio of Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema and Casemiro, but the champion went ahead in the second minute with a diving header from Mariano Diaz.

Villarreal protested the goal as the linesman had momentarily flagged for offside against Lucas Vazquez, who never made contact with the ball, and Dani Carvajal picked it up before crossing to Mariano.

READ: Sergio Ramos set to miss Real's Inter Milan game

Unai Emery's Villarreal was much improved in the second half and after spurning numerous chances striker Gerard Moreno beat Thibaut Courtois from the spot in the 76th minute after the Belgian keeper had felled substitute Samuel Chukwueze.

Villarreal went searching for a winner and almost found one through Japanese teenager Takefusa Kubo, who is on loan from Madrid, but Courtois stood firm to make the save.

Real, which was beaten 4-1 by Valencia in its last league game, is fourth in the standings on 17 points, while Villarreal is second on 19. Real Sociedad is top with 20 points.

Zidane in sullen mood after draw

Frustrated Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane insisted through gritted teeth that his side had deserved more from its 1-1 draw even after it was out-played for most of the second half.

"This point feels like very little," he told reporters in a brief news conference.

"We deserved much more given how we played today, especially in the first half, and I'm annoyed we could only get the point given how much of an effort we made."

Zidane, who also denied reports that midfielder Isco has asked to leave the club in January, looked visibly annoyed with the questions he faced but the Frenchman said Madrid's rusty form had not affected his spirits.

The defending champion has won only six of 12 games in all competitions this season.

"I have the same enthusiasm for this job as always and I'll continue to feel this way as long as I'm here, don't you worry," he added.

"You (the media) keep focusing on your jobs and I'll keep focusing on mine." 

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