A late reaction but no reward against Athletic (2-3)
A late reaction but no reward against Athletic (2-3)

Villarreal go close to getting a heroic fightback with two late goals

Defeat against Athletic Club (2-3). Villarreal lost at home to Athletic Club in an eventful encounter, which the visitors took the lead in the first half with three goals before the half-hour mark. In the second half, the Yellows reduced the deficit with goals from Gerard Moreno and Alex Sorloth on the brink of the final whistle.

After two consecutive away wins against Granada CF (LALIGA) and Chiclana (Copa del Rey), the Submarine returned to Vila-real in search of a third victory and to establish a definitive results dynamic.

To achieve this, the Yellows had to improve their home form. So far, Villarreal CF had won one LALIGA match out of seven at the Estadio de la Cerámica. A record that Pacheta’s men were looking to change.

Although the Submarine took to the field with confidence, the start did not go in the Yellows’ favour. Athletic made it 0-1 very quickly. Galarreta converted a powerful shot from the edge of the area before the second minute was up.

With the opening goal, the game became significantly more difficult for the Submarine, who had already been conditioned early on by the visitors’ advantage. With all this, Pacheta’s men did not give up and looked to equalise quickly.

On the quarter of an hour mark, Sorloth came close to equalising with a dipping shot that failed to find the target. The Norwegian’s shot, following a fantastic pass into space from Gerard, went narrowly wide.

Just when it seemed that the Submarine had regained their confidence after the goal, Athletic struck for the second time. Nico Williams made it 0-2 when he capitalised on a loss in midfielder from Villarreal. Then, just before the half-hour mark, Iñaki Williams made it 0-3 when he finished off a quick Villarreal transition, preceded by a loss in midfield.

In the second half, the Submarine tried to close the gap. The performance of Gerard Moreno was particularly outstanding in this task, as he led a proud reaction.

In the opening minutes of the second half, Sorloth, Gerard and Baena all had clear chances to beat Unai Simón’s goal. The Norwegian was unsuccessful in a one-on-one. Later, the No.7 sent a clear chance high and the midfielder from Almeria even hit the post.

Something changed in the 85th minute. Gerard scored to make it 1-3. In the next move, Sorloth made it 2-3 with a header. The team’s reaction woke up the crowd. And everyone believed in a comeback for which there was not enough time.


Villarreal CF: Jorgensen; A. Alti (Kiko F., m. 64), R. Albiol, Gabbia (Mandi, m. 46), C. Romero (Alberto M., m. 46); I. Akhomach (J. Pascual, m. 77), Parejo (R. Terrats, m. 64), Capoue, Álex B.; Gerard, Sorloth.

Athletic Club: Unai Simón; De Marcos, Vivian, Paredes, I. Lekue; Vesga, O. Sancet (Muniaín, m. 86), R. De Galarreta (Dani García, m. 76); Williams (Villalibre, m. 86), Guruzeta (Berenguer, m. 67), Williams Jr (Unai G., m. 76).

Goals: 0-1. Min. 2: R. De Galarreta. 0-2. Min. 23: Williams Jr. 0-3. Min. 30: Williams. 1-3. Min. 86: Gerard. 2-3. Min. 87: Sorloth

Referee: Cuadra Fernández. Booked: Gabbia, Mandi, R. Albiol, Kiko F. (Villarreal CF), Williams Jr, De Marcos (Athletic Club).

Incidencias: partido entre el Villarreal CF y el Athletic Club, correspondiente a la jornada 12 de LALIGA EA Sports, celebrado en el Estadio de la Cerámica ante 18.709 espectadores.