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A hard-fought victory to end the year (3-2)
A hard-fought victory to end the year (3-2)

Villarreal get three precious points against RC Celta in a match that saw endless stoppage time

With a lot of suffering and an almost interminable injury time, Villarreal achieved the victory against RC Celta (3-2). The Yellows played a fantastic first half and even took a 3-0 lead after the break. A lead that vanished in the second half and that the Submarine had to fight hard and suffer with everything to keep it until the end and turn it into three golden points to get breathing space in LALIGA.

Before the game, Marcelino said that Villarreal had to show that they wanted to win. Only that mentality was going to bring the Submarine any closer to securing the three points. So, from the very first minute, the Yellows went all out in search of a goal.

Before the first 10 minutes, the Yellows generated three chances for Alex Sørloth. The Norwegian came close to scoring with a close-range effort from Pedraza’s cross that went narrowly wide.

In the 13th minute, Villarreal opened the scoring with an uncontested goal from Alfonso Pedraza. The full-back unleashed a left-footed shot that flew into the far corner of the goal defended by Guaita.

With 1-0 on the scoreboard, misfortune struck at La Cerámica and Alfonso Pedraza was forced off the pitch. He was unable to continue due to muscular problems and had to be replaced by B team player, Carlos Romero.

From that point on, the match -frenzied up to that point- slowed down a couple of revolutions. It wasn’t until the half-hour mark that the Submarine surprised again with a move down the left. From that side, Carlos Romero cut inside the area after Baena’s exquisite touch with his heel left the Valencian defender alone, but this time he was unable to beat Celta’s Valencian goalkeeper.

With five minutes to go before half-time, Villarreal increased the lead with a goal from Aïssa Mandi. The Algerian defender sent a strategic move into the back of the net. Parejo’s free-kick was headed in by Sorloth and found Baena. His shot crashed into Guaita and the rebound fell to the Yellows No.23 to make it 2-0 before the break.

The second half started with two goals. One for each team. Parejo converted a penalty after Alberto Moreno was fouled in the 48th minute and, immediately afterwards, Douvikas pulled one back with a shot from a set-piece.

After the goal, they came alive in attack and scored a second through Strand Larsen. The Norwegian striker converted with some good fortune a pass from Manu Sánchez from inside the area. At 3-2, Celta were back in the game. Even more so when minutes before the scoreboard showed a convincing 3-0.

The Submarine had to suffer in the final stretch of the game and in the incredibly disproportionate added time granted by the referee of a quarter of an hour. But in the end, the Submarine managed to get three golden points for their league aspirations.


Villarreal CF: Jorgensen; A. Alti, R. Albiol (J. Cuenca, m. 60), Mandi, Alberto M. (A. J. Morales, m. 60); I. Akhomach (R. Terrats, m. 88), Santi C. V.; Parejo, A. Pedraza (C. Romero, m. 22); Sorloth, Álex B (M. Trigueros, m. 88).

RC Celta: V. Guaita; Kevin V. (Miguel, m. 86), Starfelt (O. Mingueza, m. 46), Nuñez, Ristic (Manu Sánchez, m. 46); Dotor, Tapia, De La Torre (C. Domínguez, m. 46); Franco (Bamba, m. 82), Douvikas, Strand Larsen.

Goals: 1-0. Min. 13: A. Pedraza. 2-0. Min. 40: Mandi. 3-0. Min. 48: Parejo. 3-1. Min. 52: Douvikas. 3-2. Min. 58: Strand Larsen.

Referee: Soto Grado. Booked: Álex B., Santi C. V. (Villarreal CF), Kevin V., O. Mingueza, Manu Sánchez, Douvikas (RC Celta).

Matchday information: Match between Villarreal CF and RC Celta, corresponding to Matchday 18 of the 2022/23 LALIGA EA Sports season, att he Estadio de la Cerámica. Atendance: 14,687.