The newly renovated Santiago Bernabeu Stadium saw points being dropped by the home team for the first time on Saturday, when Real Madrid were held to a goalless draw by Villarreal.
Los Blancos have had a stellar start to the current campaign and remain undefeated, but last night's draw against Villarreal brought their feet back on the ground.
This time, manager Carlo Ancelotti's changes did not pay off as much as it did in previous matches. He placed Fede Valverde in the right-back position, alongside Eder Militao, David Alaba and Nacho.
In midfield, the young guns who were effective against Mallorca in midweek gave their spots back to Luka Modric and Casemiro. Hat-trick boy Marco Asensio had another opportunity to start, but showed none of the same form he had in the previous outing.
Rodrygo was up front with Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior, who showed that their golden partnership also had its off days.
Villareal arrived with a point to prove, keeping Thibaut Courtois fairly busy between the sticks. Real Madrid were lucky not to have gone a goal down following an early attempt from Arnaut Danjuma, which called for the keeper to stretch to his full length. At the other end of the pitch, Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli had a relatively quiet evening.
Ancelotti tried to change the momentum by bringing in Eduardo Camavinga at the half, and while the home side increased their intensity for a while, it was not enough. The best chance came for Eder Militao off a free kick from Asensio,
Eden Hazard and Isco were also brought in to try to save the day, but the home team's efforts were not enough to secure victory. It was a stumble for Ancelotti's squad, and a wake up call for them to realize that the season is very long. They had a positive start to the season, but a lot can still happen in the coming months.
Ancelotti needs to keep things consistent, if they want to challenge for the trophies that slipped from their hands in the previous campaign.