Four goals from Sørloth not enough for victory against Real Madrid

Alexander Sørloth made history. The Villarreal forward became the sixth player ever to score four goals in a single LaLiga match against Real Madrid on Sunday, but that achievement did not result in a victory.

Four goals from Sørloth not enough for victory against Real Madrid
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Already crowned champions and with a Champions League final ahead, Real Madrid did not take it easy in the first half. This was likely due to Carlo Ancelotti fielding his second string, though the way Los Blancos played before the break did not reflect that term.

By halftime, the Spanish champions had already scored four times, including two goals from Arda Güler. Remarkably, the Turkish prodigy converted all six of his La Liga shot attempts up to his second goal into goals: an unprecedented statistic. Güler's performance underscored his immense potential and highlighted why he is considered one of the brightest young talents in European football. His composure and precision in front of goal were crucial in establishing Real Madrid's commanding lead.

However, it was not Güler but Sørloth who was the highest-scoring player of the match. The Norwegian scored his sixth headed goal of the season in the first half a unique feat this century, but what he did after the break was even more remarkable. In just over ten minutes, he personally erased the 1-4 deficit. Sørloth's first goal was a powerful header that left the Real Madrid goalkeeper with no chance. His second came from a well-timed run into the box, where he calmly slotted the ball past the keeper. The third was a clinical finish following a defensive error, and the fourth was a spectacular solo effort, weaving through the defense before finding the back of the net.

After Martín Ventolrà (1934/35), Martínez Català (1939/40), Emilín García (1944/45), Esteban Echevarría (1947/48), and Taty Castellanos (2022/23), the former FC Groningen striker became only the sixth player ever to score four goals in a LaLiga match against Real Madrid. This also put him in first place ahead of Artem Dovbyk in the race for Spain's top scorer title, underscoring his exceptional form this season.

Despite Sørloth's heroic efforts, Villarreal could not secure a victory, illustrating the resilience and depth of Real Madrid's squad even when not at full strength. The match ended in a draw, which, while disappointing for Villarreal, highlighted the competitive nature of La Liga and the difficulty of securing wins against top-tier teams like Real Madrid.

Sørloth’s performance will be remembered as one of the standout individual displays of the season, reflecting his development as a striker and his ability to perform on the big stage. Meanwhile, Real Madrid's ability to secure a result despite missing several key players speaks to their overall quality and the strategic acumen of their coach, Carlo Ancelotti.

As Real Madrid prepares for their upcoming Champions League final, the form and confidence displayed in this match will undoubtedly be a boost. For Villarreal, the focus will be on building on this performance and ensuring they can convert such individual brilliance into consistent team success in the future.