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Real Madrid Finishes La Liga Season Third

Real Madrid Finishes La Liga Season ThirdReal Madrid Finishes La Liga Season Third

Real Madrid suffered a potential confidence jolt ahead of next week’s Champions League final against Liverpool as it threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Villarreal in the last La Liga game of the season on 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, Reuters Reported.

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 capitalizing 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 and two points short of second-placed Atletico, on 78.

Real can make amends by winning a 13th European Cup next week if it beats Liverpool and becomes 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 standings on 61 points, one above sixth-placed Real Betis, although both sides were already assured of automatic places in next season’s Europa League.

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