VILA-REAL, Spain: Real Madrid conceded a fourth penalty in two games as they drew 1-1 at Villarreal in La Liga on Saturday, dropping points for the second game in a row.
Zinedine Zidane's side were missing seven players through injury and illness, including the indispensable trio of Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema and Casemiro, but the champions 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.
Unai Emery's Villarreal were 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, who were beaten 4-1 by Valencia in their last league game, are fourth in the standings on 17 points, while Villarreal are second on 19. Real Sociedad are top with 20 points.
(Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond)