Real Madrid ended a disappointing domestic season in third place on 76 points, 14 behind champion Barcelona who can increase the gap to 17 if they beat Real Sociedad Sunday
Real Madrid suffered a potential confidence jolt ahead of next week’s Champions League final against Liverpool as they threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Villarreal in their final La Liga game of the season Saturday.
Gareth Bale continued his bid for a starting berth in the Kiev final by scoring his fourth goal in three league games to fire Real ahead in the 11th minute, and Cristiano Ronaldo headed in a cross from Marcelo to make it 2-0.
Zinedine Zidane fielded an almost full-strength team, leaving out only Karim Benzema and goalkeeper Keylor Navas, with the French coach handing a debut to his 20-year-old son, Luca Zidane, in goal.
Colombian forward Roger Martinez pulled a goal back for fifth-placed Villarreal with 19 minutes remaining and Samuel Castillejo completed the home side’s revival by capitalising on a nervous moment from Zidane to knock the ball into an empty net in the 85th minute.
Real ended a disappointing domestic season in third place on 76 points, 14 behind champion Barcelona who can increase the gap to 17 if they beat Real Sociedad Sunday. Second-placed Atletico Madrid, on 78, host Eibar.
Real can make amends by winning a 13th European Cup next week if they beat Liverpool and become the first team since 1976 to win the trophy three years in a row.
The point was enough to ensure Villarreal finished fifth in the standing on 61 points, one above sixth-placed Real Betis, who lost 3-2 to Leganes, although both sides were already assured of automatic places in next season’s Europa League.