Samuel Chukwueze upstaged Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr in an informal dribbling contest that culminated in a rare Villarreal win at the Bernabeu on Saturday night.
Chukuwueze, who inexplicably fails to shine in Super Eagles’ jersey, scored twice to lead Villarreal to a 3-2 comeback win that forced the Skysports match commentator to keep referring to another illustrious Nigerian dribbling wizard, Austin Jay Jay Okocha.
Chukwueze canceled out a sixth-minute own goal by teammate Paul Torres when he juked past Nacho Fernandez to score his first goal in the 39th minute.
Vinicius put Madrid back in front shortly after halftime after he eluded a pack of defenders, but Chukwueze made a pass that led to substitute Jose Morales’ equaliser in the 70th.
The 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup winner then struck the 80th-minute winner from long range to stun the Santiago Bernabeu. Chukwueze described his winner as “a crazy great goal.” The forward has 13 in all competitions and seven goals in his last five league games.
Stunned by Chukwueze’s influence in the game, Real Madrid’s Carlo Ancellotti blamed his defenders for giving the Nigerian too much room to operate.
“We should have defended better, but it was difficult for us to be 100 percent motivated,” Ancelotti said.
“The truth is, it was hard for us to be 100 per cent motivated, that’s quite normal. If you aren’t 100 per cent, you have to be better on the pitch, we weren’t organised, they manage the ball well and it was hard for us to get it back.”
Villarreal’s Coach, Quique Setien, will not take anything away from Chukwueze, who has championed his side’s quest for a European place this season.
Saturday’s win took Villarreal to fifth on the La Liga table, two points clear of Real Betis. Coach Quique Setien praised Chukwueze’s performance and labeled him as an “extraordinary player.”
He said: “For a few weeks, he’s been giving us a lot, he’s a permanent threat. Not just in goals, but in passes, chances, he’s an extraordinary player, who is giving us a lot,” he said.