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Real Madrid beaten after naming starting XI without a Spanish player for first time in their history

18:31 WAT 07/01/2023
Karim Benzema Real Madrid 2022-23
Real Madrid were beaten by Villarreal on Saturday having not named a Spanish player in the starting XI for the first time in La Liga history.
  • No Spanish players started against Villarreal
  • First time in Madrid's 120-year history
  • Ancelotti's side fell to 2-1 defeat

WHAT HAPPENED? A Yeremy Pino strike and Gerard Moreno penalty cancelled out Karim Benzema's equaliser from the spot as Carlo Ancelotti's side fell to a 2-1 defeat at the Estadio de la Ceramica. The team news before the match provided just as big a talking point, though, with Real Madrid's starting line-up not featuring a Spanish player for the first time since the club was founded, some 120 years ago.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Spain international Marco Asensio did come on for Federico Valverde in the 82nd minute but to no avail, as Ancelotti's side slipped to their second league defeat all season. The result gives Barcelona the opportunity to move three points clear at the top of La Liga when they take on Atletico Madrid on Sunday.

DID YOU KNOW? Villarreal's victory over Madrid was their first since 2018, when a late Pablo Fornals strike was enough to steal all three points at the Santiago Bernabeu.


WHAT NEXT FOR REAL MADRID? After dropping points in the league, Ancelotti's side host Valencia next in the Spanish Supercup semi-final first leg on Wednesday.