A hard-fought point at Vallecas (1-1)
A hard-fought point at Vallecas (1-1)

Villarreal draw against Rayo Vallecano thanks to the work of the whole team and a goal from Sorloth

Villarreal drew with Rayo Vallecano in an intense match at Vallecas. The Yellows took the lead thanks to a goal from Sorloth, but Rayo equalised just seconds later through Kike. The Submarine were down to one man after Alberto Moreno was sent off, while Gerard and Baena were also forced off with injuries. A hard-earned point (1-1).

Pacheta made up to nine changes to the starting eleven for this game against the side from the group that started the European clash against Panathinaikos. Only Mandi and Santi Comesaña, who returned to his former home, were in the starting line-up.

The clash started off electrifying. Rayo could have taken the lead just seconds after the opening whistle. Álvaro García took advantage of a long ball to get in alone in front of Jorgensen, who was big enough to make it difficult for the Rayo attacker to avoid the first goal.

In the sixth minute, the same two players played the same role. Once again Álvaro García ran alone in front of Jorgensen and the young Villarreal goalkeeper prevented the goal with a magnificent save from his opponent’s attempted dribble.

The Submarine knew how to suffer and found their reward in the 14th minute. Alberto Moreno shook off Rayo’s pressure with a spectacular run, laid the ball off to Baena on the left and he crossed low for Sorloth to catch Dimitrievski unawares (0-1).

The joy was short-lived. Rayo equalised just seconds later. Another long ball allowed Kike to make a precise lob in front of Jorgensen (1-1, m. 15).

Little by little. Villarreal began to settle into the game, taking possession of the ball. They could have taken the lead when Gerard’s left-footed shot hit the base of the post and Alberto Moreno’s right-footed shot went just wide.

In the second half, the Submarine continued to carve out the game. Aware of the difficulty, Villarreal piled forward inside in search of control. The worst news of the second half was that Gerard and Baena were both forced off the pitch with injuries.

In terms of chances, the best for Villarreal came from the feet of Manu Trigueros. His cross-shot was met by a superb save from Dimitrievski. For their part, Rayo could have scored soon after with Trejo’s effort licking the post.

With a quarter of an hour to go, Villarreal were down to ten men. Alberto Moreno was sent off for two yellow cards. Despite being a man down, the Submarine did not give up. In fact, they could have made it 1-2 with a clear opportunity for Yeremy, who received a long ball, but his shot was saved by another miraculous intervention by Dimitrievski (82nd minute).

The next game for Pacheta’s team will be against Girona at the Estadio de la Cerámica (Wednesday, 7pm CEST).


Rayo Vallecano: Dimitrievski; Balliu, Aridane, Lejeune, Espino; Isi (De Frutos, m. 59), Unai López (Ciss, m. 68), Óscar Valentín, Kike (Trejo, m. 68), Álvaro (Bebé, m. 87); Raúl de Tomás (Camello, m. 59).

Villarreal CF: Jorgensen; Foyth, Albiol, Mandi, Alberto Moreno; Parejo, Comesaña (Capoue, m. 75); Yeremy (Carlos Romero, m. 88), Gerard (Trigueros, m. 55), Baena (Morales, m. 75); Sorloth.

Goals: 0-1. Min. 14: Sorloth. 1-1. Min. 15: Kike.

Referee: Figueroa Vázquez. Booked: Álvaro, Camello (Rayo Vallecano); Comesaña (Villarreal CF). Sent off: Alberto Moreno (m. 76).

Matchday information: Match corresponding to Matchday 6 of the 2023/24 LaLiga EA SPORTS season at the Estadio de Vallecas. Attendance: 12,865.