Real Madrid: 5 burning questions after 1-1 draw with Villarreal

Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Mariano Diaz
Real Madrid, Mariano Diaz (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images) /

Does Mariano Diaz have a real chance for Real Madrid?

When Mariano Diaz scores, he scores quickly. It took him seconds to find the back of the net in his substitute appearance against Barcelona earlier this year, and it took him under two minutes to do the same to Villarreal this weekend.

The finish itself was filled with quality, though most of the work was done by Toni Kroos and Dani Carvajal with their passing. Still, Mariano had to be in the right place and ready to execute the finish, which was far more difficult than so many of the chances Los Blancos, second in the league in xG, have squandered this year.

Mariano is one of the most hard-working players on Real Madrid. He has fought to be here and has done everything he can to convince the club that he should not be loaned and should be given a chance to earn his spot.

With Karim Benzema and Luka Jovic in front of him, that’s been difficult. But with Benzema and Jovic unavailable at Villarreal, Mariano seized his opportunity with the goal to lift Real to a point.

Here’s the problem, though. Aside from that goal, Mariano didn’t do much and was offsides four times. He worked hard and had a couple of key passes and dribbles completed, but his threat to Villarreal after that goal was almost non-existent. Mariano is a good player, but I’m not sure he did enough to convince Zinedine Zidane, who has his ways set, to play over Jovic and Benzema.