The Submarine impress at the Benito Villamarín with goals from Pau and Capoue and get three important points
Villarreal overcame Real Betis at the Benito Villamarín (0-2) with a header from Pau Torres before half-time and a fantastic Étienne Capoue goal as the game was coming to a close. With this win, Unai Emery’s side gained three points on a direct opponent in the fight to be playing in Europe next season. The Submarine, after this important win, underline their options to finish towards the top of the LaLiga table.
The match was open from the first minute of the game with both teams trying to take control of possession and pressing high without the ball. Villarreal had their first chances after five minutes with two Paco Alcácer efforts, but he was unable to properly connect with the ball in the box.
Samu Chukwueze, who returned to action with Villarreal after taking part in the Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria, was electric down the right flank in Sevilla, and was causing serious problems for the home side with the ball at his left foot. However, Real Betis also had their chances, and with half an hour gone, Gero Rulli had to intervene to keep out a Nabil Fékir effort from the edge of the box.
Soon after, Emery’s team had a setback. Gerard Moreno had to be substituted due to an injury, with Manu Trigueros replacing him. However, Villarreal did not give up and Pau capitalised on an Alberto Moreno corner to head past Rui Silva and score the first goal of the evening in Sevilla. Soon later, the half-time whistle went and it was 0-1.
At the start of the second half, Chukwueze thought he had increased the lead, but the Nigerian’s effort was ruled for offside. He had got on the end of a through ball and beat Rui Silva, but his knee was ruled to be ahead of the last defender. The second half saw Arnaut Danjuma return after his injury and Serge Aurier come back too after his AFCON participation with Côte d’Ivoire. Giovani Lo Celso also made his Villarreal debut, coming on in alongside Yeremy to try and create danger later on.
With over an hour on the clock, the referee gave a penalty to the home side for a supposed handball by Aurier, but overturned his decision after a VAR check. Villarreal had to dig in with Real Betis pushing forward, but did not concede many chances. With less than ten minutes left, in a move after a nice Lo Celso touch, Capoue pulled a fantastic shot out of the hat, with his effort flying into the top corner to score the second goal of the match. Danjuma could have made it 0-3, but Rui Silva made a great save to deny the Dutchman after a Yeremy pass.
Villarreal left Seville with three points against one of the most in-form teams in the league, underlining their expectations to return to compete in Europe next season. Next up for the Yellows is a home game at the Estadio de la Cerámica against Real Madrid on Saturday (4:15pm CET).
Real Betis: Rui Silva; Bellerín, Pezzella, Bartra, Miranda; A. Guardado (m. 59, Rodri), G. Rodríguez; Canales, Fekir (m. 87, C. Tello), Juanmi (m. 84, Aitor R.);, Willian José (m. 59, B. Iglesias).
Villarreal: Rulli; Foyth (m. 63, Serge Aurier), R. Albiol, Pau, A. Pedraza; Chukwueze (m. 77, Yeremy), Parejo, Capoue, Alberto M. (m. 77, Lo Celso), Gerard (m. 35, M. Trigueros), Paco Alcácer (m. 63, Danjuma).
Goals: 0-1. Min. 41: Pau. 0-2. Min. 83: Capoue.
Referee: González Fuertes. Booked: Canales, B. Iglesias (Real Betis); Chukwueze, Alberto M., Capoue (Villarreal).
Matchday information: Match between Real Betis and Villarreal, corresponding to Matchday 23 of LaLiga, at the Estadio Benito Villamarín. Attendance. 44,870.