Real Madrid 1-0 Villarreal Highlights
Arjen Robben was Real Madrid’s hero as the reigning Primera Liga champions started 2009 on a winning note with a hard-fought victory over Villarreal at the Bernabeu.
1-0 A.Robben 32′
Robben’s first-half wonder strike proved the only goal of the game as Madrid moved back into the Champions League spots and ensured the gap to leaders Barcelona – victors over Real Mallorca last night – remained at 12 points.
Madrid, for whom new signings Lassana Diarra and Klaas Jan Huntelaar were handed their debuts, did not have it easy though and they were indebted to some fine saves by Iker Casillas for keeping Villarreal at bay after the break.
In the end it was a moment of magic from Robben in the 33rd minute that separated the two sides, who were the top two in La Liga last season but started this match level on 29 points and well adrift of pacesetters Barca.