The Wales captain made his first appearance for the LaLiga leaders since August and was Madrid’s standout performer before being substituted in the second half.
Both sides had chances to win the match as Bale and Villarreal forward Arnaut Danjuma struck the woodwork in each half.
Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli made a number of saves to prevent Madrid from going home with all three points.
The results sees Carlo Ancelotti’s side extend their lead at the top to four points while Villarreal remain in fifth position.
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