Nigeria’s Super Eagles star Samuel Chukwueze picked up the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award after his well-taken brace inspired Villareal to a 2-3 win at champions Real Madrid.
Villareal needed nothing but victory in the game against Real Madrid if they were to keep their hopes of finishing in Champions League places alive and they secured maximum points, coming twice from behind at the Santiago Bernabeu with remarkable inspiration from Chukwueze.
Chukwueze, 23, has been in a rich vein of form this term and was touted to be a thorn in the flesh of the Real Madrid defence on Saturday night, an hype he successfully lived up to.
After an end-to-end start to the game, hosts Real Madrid went in front in the 16th minute in fortuitous fashion when Marco Asensio’s cross was unavoidably diverted into his own net by Villareal defender Pau Torres.
Chukwueze was to score the next goal of the game; an equaliser for the Yellow Submarines in the 39th minute. The FIFA U17 World Cup winner zigzagged his way past midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni and defender Nacho Fernandez just inside the box before sending Thibaut Courtois the wrong way with an exquisite finish from 16 yards.
In-form Brazilian Vinicius Junior restored Real Madrid’s advantage at the start of the second half with a trademark solo goal. The winger, gleefully parted a sea of Yellow shirts before finishing from close range.
Chukwueze was again instrumental to Villareal’s second equaliser in the 71st minute when he decisioned Nacho again before passing low inside the box from where Jose Luis Morales finished at the second time of asking.
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With ten minutes left on the clock, the Diamond Academy product produced a moment of class when he cut inside Nacho once again before unleashing an unstoppable curler from 25 yards which flew beyond Courtois into the top corner.
Chukwueze’s brace on Saturday took his goals tally for Villareal this term to six goals in the LaLiga and thirteen in all competitions. His club also moved to 5th on the log with 47 points, four adrift of fourth placed Real Sociedad.