A starting point (1-1)
A starting point (1-1)
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Villarreal draw against Huesca with a Gerard Moreno goal after an exciting tie

A draw to start LaLiga. Villarreal drew against Huesca in a match dominated by the Yellows possession wise. The side from Aragón went ahead through Pablo Maffeo, while Gerard Moreno equalised from the penalty spot in the second half. A starting point for this new-look Yellow Submarine.

Unai Emery took charge of his first game at the Estadio de la Cerámica. The Basque manager lined up with a 4-4-2 with two new signings in the starting XI: Dani Parejo and Coquelin were at the heart of the midfielder. Alfonso Pedraza, returning from a loan spell to play at left-back was also a novelty from the team that finished fifth in LaLiga last season.

Villarreal put their mark on the game from the early stages and had goalscoring opportunities. The Submarine could have gone ahead on the scoreboard in the sixth minute after a right-footed Gerard effort which was saved well by Andrés Fernández.

Emery’s side had the ball in the back of the net twice before the half-hour mark, but both times they were ruled to not be a goal due to players being in an offside position. First of all, Paco Alcácer thought he’d scored, while moments later it was Raúl Albiol who beat Fernández in the Huesca goal. VAR confirmed that both goals were offside. The goal that did count, however, was the first real chance for Huesca. Maffeo rounded off a counter-attack by beating his marker and placing a right-footed effort past Asenjo at the far post (0-1, m.41).

The teams made no half-time changes. Villarreal continued to give everything but were repelled by Huesca’s well-organised defence. However, the Yellows got the reward they deserved, in form of an equaliser from the penalty spot. Referee Xavier Estrada Fernández had to check with VAR before giving a spot-kick for a Maffeo handball inside the box. Gerard stepped up to score from the spot.

There was bad news for the Submarine with Coquelin picking up a knee injury, having to leave the pitch after a clash with Kelechi Nwakali.

The match was end-to-end in the closing minutes. The referee ruled out a Jorge Pulido goal for offside, and the Yellows could also have come away with the victory late on. Take Kubo’s right-foot effort was touched on by Fer Niño, and Fernández made a miraculous save.

Next up for Villarreal is a game against SD Eibar at the Estadio de la Cerámica (Sunday, 4pm CEST).

Lineups:

Villarreal CF: Asenjo; Rubén Peña (Mario Gaspar, m. 76), Albiol, Pau, Pedraza; Chukwueze, Coquelin (Iborra, m. 76), Parejo, Moi Gómez (Fer Niño, m. 90); Gerard, Paco Alcácer (Take, m. 76).

SD Huesca: Andrés Fernández; Maffeo (Luisinho, m. 88), Pulido, Insua, Javi Galán; Mosquera, Mikel Rico (Seoane, m. 78), Juan Carlos (Eugeni, m. 61); Ferreiro (Nwakali, m. 61), Okazaki, Rafa Mir (Joaquín, m. 88).

Goals: 0-1. Min. 41: Maffeo. 1-1. Min. 67: Gerard (p).

Referee: Estrada Fernández.. Booked: Pedraza (Villarreal); Mosquera (Huesca).

Matchday information: Matchday 1 of the 2020/21 LaLiga season at the Estadio de la Cerámica.

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