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A cruel point against RCD Mallorca (1-1)
A cruel point against RCD Mallorca (1-1)

Villarreal were denied the win in added time

Villarreal were held to a cruel draw by RCD Mallorca when the Balearic side visited the Estadio de la Cerámica. Sorloth, in added time in the first half, gave the Yellows, who were the better side for much of the game, the lead, but a goal from Javi Llabrés in added time in the second half levelled the match.

Villarreal hosted RCD Mallorca in Matchday 21 of the 2023/24 LALIGA EA SPORTS season at the Estadio de la Cerámica in front of 16,479 fans who, from the stands, cheered on their team to try and get their first win of 2024 and take three points that would allow them to move away from the relegation zone.

Before kick-off, both teams observed a minute’s silence in memory of Pablo Pitarch, the club’s youth football coordinator who worked for the entity more than 20 years. Two Yellows Academy players left a bouquet of flowers on his seat, where there was also a shirt with his name on it.

During the first few minutes of the game, the two sides fought for possession. Villarreal’s first warning came through Sorloth, who dared a shot from distance that was too close to the target.

The Submarine grew into the game as the minutes ticked by and this time Ilias, in the 13th minute, intimidated the visitors’ defence in an individual move that was cut out by the last Mallorca defender as Akhomach set up the shot.

In the 22nd minute, Álex Baena had a free kick in a slightly angled position and his shot, which was looking for the corner of the goal defended by Rajkovic, went over the crossbar. Just two minutes later, Gerard Moreno finished off an elaborate Submarine move with a placed shot from the edge of the area, but the visitors’ goalkeeper had no trouble keeping it out.

Villarreal managed to break the deadlock just before the break. Baena put the ball into the box and Alex Sorloth was able to finish in the six-yard box to make it 1-0 in stoppage time.

The ball was back on the pitch at La Cerámica as the second half got underway and the first big chance fell to Villarreal in the 64th minute after a good counter-attack involving Baena, Gerard and Sorloth, who found Rajkovic’s goal but a defender blocked the shot as it was about to go in on goal.

In the 69th minute Marcelino brought on Gonçalo Guedes, a recent signing from Villarreal, who made his debut for the Submarine and in his first move left flashes of quality and generated a dangerous chance after passing the ball to Comesaña who shot from the edge of the area that went just wide to Rajkovic’s right.

RCD Mallorca threatened with side crosses looking for the head of Abdón, Larin or Muriqi, who came on with ten minutes to go, but the Yellow defence looked to have stood firm, clearing each of the visitors’ attempts.

In the end, Mallorca snatched victory from Villarreal with a goal from Javi Llabrés in the 91st minute of the match.


Villarreal CF: Jörgensen; Kiko F., J. Cuenca, E. Bailly, Alberto M.; I. Akhomach (min. 69, Guedes), Santi C.V., Coquelin (min. 84, Capoue), Álex B. (min. 84, M. Trigueros); Gerard, Sorloth.

RCD Mallorca: Rajkovic; Antonio Sánchez (min. 58, Abdón), Valjent, A. Raillo, Nastasic, Lato (min. 80, J. Costa); S. Darder (min. 88, Javi Llabrés), Morlanes, Samu (min. 80, Mascarell), Dani Rodríguez; Larin (min. 80, Muriqi).

Goals: 1-0. Min. 46: Sorloth. 1-1. Min. 91: Javi Llabrés.

Referee: Ortiz Arias. Booked: Sorloth & Kiko F. (Villarreal). Sent off: Pepe Reina (from the bench).

Matchday information: Match between Villarreal CF and RCD Mallorca, corresponding to Matchday 21 of the 2023/24 LALIGA EA SPORTS season at the Estadio de la Cerámica. Attendance: 16,479