La Liga

Real Madrid fails to win at Villarreal

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Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo gestures during the game against Villarreal.
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For the second time in four days, Spanish leader Real Madrid conceded a late free kick as it slipped to a 1-1 draw at Villarreal on Wednesday.

The dramatic draw on Wednesday broke Madrid's 10-game away winning run and allowed Barcelona to close to within six points as the title race enters its home stretch with 10 games to play.

Like Malaga's Santi Cazorla did against Madrid on Sunday, Marcos Senna bent a free kick around the defensive wall to level in the 83rd, canceling out Cristiano Ronaldo's 62nd-minute opener for the visitors off an audacious assist by Mesut Oezil.

Mourinho, who had already been warned by the referee and had seen one of his assistants ejected for complaining, was banished in the 84th from the sideline in protest of the foul call that set up Senna's equalizer.

Madrid's Sergio Ramos and Oezil were both sent off with their second yellow cards a minute later as Madrid played the final five minutes with nine men.

Mourinho, along with his staff and players, refused to speak to the media after the match, but Ronaldo was heard shouting ''It's a robbery, just a robbery'' as he left the pitch shaking his head.

Villarreal gave a spirited performance on the debut of Miguel Angel Lotina, the troubled team's third coach of the season, and thanks to Senna's aim was rewarded with a hard-earned point that kept it four points above the drop.

Mourinho, whose side had struggled to win in its recent outings, sat Kaka on the bench and opted for a more muscular midfield with Xavi Alonso flanked by Sami Khedira and Lass Diarra.

But the opening stanza was anything but low tempo as both sides traded blows.

Nilmar had the hosts' best early chance in the 19th when he stole the ball from Ramos, only for goalkeeper Iker Casillas to better him one-on-one.

Mourinho decided he had seen enough after Senna came close with a long strike and sent on forward Jose Callejon for Diarra just before the half-hour mark.

The change, however, didn't give Madrid control as it continued to misfire while Villarreal kept up its frenetic push in search of the surprise.

Nor did Callejon last long. The former Espanyol player hurt his ankle and was replaced by Hamit Altintop at the beginning of the season half.

Madrid assistant coach Rui Faria was sent off, apparently for a comment made to the referee, in the 50th. It was the fourth time he has been ejected this season.

As ''The Yellow Submarine'' tired, Madrid settled down in defense and Ronaldo soon combined with Oezil, who had been quiet until then, to break through.

Ronaldo raced forward to meet Oezil's brilliant back-heeled pass, gained a better firing angle with one touch and rifled the ball beyond goalkeeper Diego Lopez for his 43rd goal in all competitions this campaign.

The Portugal forward has 33 goals in league play so far this season, one less than Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

But just like against Malaga, Madrid failed to finish off its adversary and a foul by Altintop outside the area gave Villarreal a chance that Senna did not waste.

The veteran Brazilian midfielder left Casillas flatfooted as he curled his right-footed shot around the wall and bounced it past the Spain goalkeeper into the net.

Chaos then broke out as Madrid lost its collective cool, and referee Jose Paradas sent Mourinho from the dugout in the 84th. Ramos followed his coach a minute later for a tackle near the halfway line and Oezil as well for complaining.

Paradas also banished Mourinho from a Copa del Rey match against Murcia in November 2010.

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