Villarreal show their intent against Rayo with five goals and continue in the fight for the Europa League
What a win for the Yellow Submarine! Villarreal put in a big performance at Vallecas and beat Rayo Vallecano with a convincing 1-5 result. Alfonso Pedraza put the Yellows ahead early on, although Rayo drew level through Sergi Guardiola. Unai Emery’s men reacted quickly with a good Juan Foyth goal, before extending their lead with strikes from Paco Alcácer, Pau Torres and Pedraza once more.
Villarreal arrived at Vallecas knowing they needed to get three points to be alive going into the match against Real Sociedad on Sunday at the Estadio de la Cerámica, and showed that they wanted the win from the opening minute. The Yellows beat the side from the Spanish capital in terms of intensity throughout, and that was proven in the first goal, which came in the third mnute, from a corner that Pedraza headed brilliantly in, putting the Submarine ahead.
However, Guardiola levelled the tie after 20 minutes with a counter-attack, as after a number of players slipping in the area, Rayo ended up scoring. The match started from scratch for Villarreal, and Unai Emery’s team reacted quickly, going ahead once more with half an hour on the clock. Foyth, again with a header, scored his first goal in LaLiga, capitalizing on a Pau lay-off that gave him a clear chance to score the second.
Moments later, Alcácer refound his goalscoring boots. And what a goal it was! The striker fired past Dimitrievski after twisting and turning and leaving a defender on the floor. The Submarine had increased their lead and looked comfortable at Vallecas. In fact, Alcácer’s goal came after a lovely team move. Just before half-time, Pau scored the fourth, all but completely killing off the tie, reacting first to a Dani Parejo free-kick. The Yellows were enjoying themselves, and went into the break knowing they had almost already got the three points.
At half-time, Emery brought on Nicolas Jackson, who got more minutes with the first team, replacing Gio Lo Celso. The Senegalese striker, alongside Samu Chukwueze and Alcácer, was in charge of trying to create problems near the box of Andoni Iraola’s team, despite the three-goal advantage. Other substitutes who came on, like Boulaye Dia, who replaced Alcácer, also there were also clear chances for the home side. When it looked like it was all over, Pedraza scored a golazo with his weaker right foot from outside the box to sign off the evening in style.
Villarreal get three vital points ahead of the important match next Sunday (7:30pm CEST) at the Estadio de la Cerámica, where the Submarine face Real Sociedad, a direct opponent in the fight for the Europa League.
Rayo Vallecano: Dimitrievski; Balliu, Maras (m. 59, Nteka) , Catena, Fran García; Bebé (m. 59, M. Sylla) Unai López, Santi C.V (m. 90, Rodrigues), Óscar, Álvaro (m. 90, Vere);, Sergi Guardiola (m. 59, Falcao).
Villarreal CF: Rulli; Foyth (m. 72, Mario Gaspar), R. Albiol, Pau (m. 66, Mandi), A. Pedraza; Parejo, Capoue (m. 81, Iborra), M. Trigueros; Lo Celso (m. 46, N. Jackson), Chukwueze, Paco Alcácer (m. 66, Dia)
Goals: 0-1. Min. 3: A. Pedraza. 1-1. Min. 20: Sergi Guardiola. 1-2. Min. 27: Foyth. 1-3. Min. 37: Paco Alcácer. 1-4. Min. 45: Pau. 1-5. Min. 87: A. Pedraza.
Referee: Díaz de Mera. Booked: Maras, Álvaro, Unai López, M. Sylla (Rayo Vallecano); R. Albiol, (Villareal CF). Unai Emery (Villarreal head coach) was also booked.
Matchday information: Match betwene Rayo Vallecano and Villarreal CF, corresponding to Matchday 36 of the 2021/22 LaLiga season, at Vallecas.