Gareth Bale ended a six-month goal drought, scoring twice to rescue a point for Real Madrid away at Villarreal on Sunday before finishing the 2-2 draw by being sent off in the added minutes.
Villareal thought they had grabbed all the 3 points when Moi Gomez scored 16 minutes from time. However, Gareth Bale who looked bound for the exit not very far in the past, added to his goal for the day late on to prevent a first La Liga for the visitors.
Two yellow cards in as many minutes then saw the Welsh sent off in the 94th minute, but by then he had saved Madrid from the first La Liga defeat of the season.
Villarreal’s dynamism in attack caused Madrid real problems, which was confirmed by Gerard Moreno’s early goal. However, Madrid showed flashes of brilliance themselves and levelled just before the break through Bale.
Zidane’s men seemed to be hit by a sucker-punch towards the end when Gomez tapped in 16 minutes to go, but Bale’s excellent quality was on display in the 86th minute when he equalized before he was sent off in stoppage time for a second bookable offence within two minutes.
Madrid were punished for a slow start into the game when Villarreal scored 12 minutes into the match. Moreno robbing Sergio Ramos and then fed Nigerian forward Samuel Chukwueze for a shot, and afterwards the Spanish striker hammered home on the rebound.
The away side reacted well and completed the half on top, seeing Karim Benzema cut in from the left and rifle a low drive against the post from 20 yards.
The visitors levelled with a goal in stoppage time, as Luka Jovic’s flicked pass released Dani Carvajal on the right side and then squared the ball to Bale for a simple tap-in.
Villarreal hoped to have the full points when substitute Javi Ontiveros played a smart ball across the goal and Gomez slotted it home.
However, Bale struck four minutes from time, drilling into the bottom-right corner from just inside the box to share the points with the host.
Zinedine Zidane has now won only six of the 14 matches since he returned to Madrid as a coach in March and it remains to be seen if the club will make any late additions before the transfer window closes on Monday.