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A point at Mestalla (1-1)
A point at Mestalla (1-1)

Villarreal draw against Valencia in a game of high emotions and many chances

Villarreal picked up a point from their visit to Mestalla (1-1). Strong emotions and many chances in a duel of high tempo and different needs. The Yellows struck first and could have taken the win, thanks to a great goal from Nico Jackson, but Valencia woke up and took advantage of a mistake playing out from the back to draw level.

Quique Setién’s team visited Valencia on the back of two consecutive wins in front of their home fans and with the intention of surprising a wounded Valencia side in need of three points to avoid the relegation zone. The Yellows were not alone at Mestalla. They were backed by more than 600 Yellows fans, who sold out the tickets available to watch a derby that is always special.

The Submarine started the game playing up a gear more than their opponents, wanting to have the ball and playing in their opponents’ half. The first chance of the game fell to Quique Setién’s side. In the opening stages, Jackson hit the post with a hard low shot from the edge of the area. Before the tenth minute, Álex Baena tried again with a shot from the heart of the area, which went just wide of the far post.

As the minutes went by, Villarreal became more and more established in the game, although they reached the opposition goal with less clarity. The final stretch of the first half did not offer any great chances, but it was a great time for Villarreal, who played the game well, alternating long possessions with runs at the back of the home defence. On the other side of the game, Valencia were showing a certain nervousness in attacking moves. There was a lot at stake for the side from Mestalla.

If the first half was dominated by the Yellows, the second half started with a succession of blows between the two rivals. A minute after the restart, Ramón Terrats tried his luck from the edge of the area and was met by an inspired Mamardashvili. It didn’t take long for Valencia to hit back at the Submarine. Diego López could have scored the first for the home side after breaking free at the back of Alfonso Pedraza. He got in front of Reina and sent the ball wide by just a few centimetres.

By then, the game had opened up completely and Villarreal took advantage. In a somewhat scrappy move, Jackson took advantage of a deflected cross from one of his team-mates to fire the Submarine ahead with a fantastic whipped effort. The Senegalese striker smashed the ball past the Georgian goalkeeper with a thunderous right-footed shot.

With the score at 0-1, Villarreal took too many risks on the ball and Valencia were able to take advantage. A mistake by the visitors’ defence led to an equaliser through Samuel Lino. The 1-1 scoreline woke up Mestalla, and the Groguets were forced to pick themselves up from the blow in a hostile atmosphere.

In the final minutes, Valencia tried to look for a 2-1 lead, but with more heart than clarity on the pitch. In the end, the Submarine missed out on the win, but earned a good point for the European battle.


Valencia CF: Mamardashvili; Thierry R., Diakhaby, G. Paulista, Gayà; Musah (Diego López, m. 46), Javi Guerra, Nico (Ilaix Moriba, m. 56), A. Almeida (Hugo Duro, m. 70); Cavani (Lato, m. 86), S. Lino (A. Marí, m. 86).

Villarreal CF: Reina; Foyth, R. Albiol, Pau, A. Pedraza; R. Terrats (M. Trigueros, m. 74), Álex B.; Chukwueze (Gerard, m. 80), N. Jackson, Yeremy (Capoue, m. 66).

Goals: 0-1. Min. 62: N. Jackson. 1-1. Min. 72: S. Lino.

Referee: Gil Manzano. Booked: Nico, S. Lino, Thierry R., Cavani (Valencia CF), N. Jackson & Parejo (Valencia).

Matchday information: Match between Valencia and Villarreal CF, corresponding to Gameweek 33 of the 2022/23 LaLiga Santander season, at Mestalla. Attendance: 43,634.