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A step away from the last 32 (1-1)
A step away from the last 32 (1-1)

Villarreal draw against Maccabi, stay top of the group and move closer to qualifying for the UEFA Europa League knockout stage

Villarreal drew in their visit to Tel Aviv (1-1). Unai Emery’s side got a point against the Israeli team, leaving the Yellows just one step away from the UEFA Europa League Round of 32. The Submarine went ahead through Álex Baena, whose goal was cancelled out at the start of the second half by Pesic.

The Yellos landed in Israel knowing that a win would see them through to the next round of the UEFA Europa League as group leaders. With that in mind, Unai Emery once more lined up with players who are regularly playing in Europe, where the Submarine had won all of their games. There were eight changes to the team that played against Real Madrid, with only Carlos Bacca, Manu Trigueros and Alfonso Pedraza starting once more at the Bloomfield Stadium.

The game started with Villarreal dominating. From the opening moments, Emery’s side showed their quality and took control of the ball. Despite having possession, the Submarine found it hard to créate chances and space against the well-drilled Maccabi Tel Aviv defensive line.

As a first half without many chances was drawing to an end, with a minute to go, Villarreal found the goal to open the scoring. Baena put the away side ahead with a fantastic finish after going one-on-one with the goalkeeper, getting on the end of a great Bacca assist, which was after a brilliant Rúben Peña run down.

It was like déjà vu. The young midfielder scored his second goal of the season. Once again in the Europa League, once again against Maccabi Tel Aviv and once again after a great Bacca assist, just like in the game at the Estadio de la Cerámica.

After half-time, Maccabi Tel Aviv surprised Villarreal with just a minute gone of the second half. The Israel outfit drew level through Pesic, who got on the end of a ball in the six-yard box to fire home.

Hoping to take control of the game once more, Emery made four substitutions with an hour gone. Gerard Moreno, Fer Niño, Yeremy Pino and Dani Parejo replaced Bacca, Take Kubo, Samu Chukwueze and Manu Trigueros.

The away side pushed forward trying to get their second. They lacked a Little bit of luck in the 72nd minute when Gerard’s shot from the edge of the box came off the woodwork.

Just before added time, Maccabi Tel Aviv were left with ten men after Saborit was sent off for a straight red card. The Submarine tried until the end but couldn’t score, with Francis Coquelin going close in added time, after a great header form a corner.

The match ended with Villarreal getting a good point against Maccabi Tel Aviv to allow them to consolidate their place at the top of Group I in the UEFA Europa League, but it isn’t enough to seal qualification for the Round of 32 just yet.


Maccabi Tel Aviv: Tenenbaum; Kandil, Hernández, Tibi, Saborit; D. Peretz, Glazer (Blackman, m. 54), Golasa (Davidzada, m. 92), Cohen (Karzev, m. 90), Pesic (Rikan, m. 85), Biton (Yeini, m. 85).

Villarreal CF: Rulli; Peña, Foyth, Funes Mori, Pedraza; Trigueros (Parejo, m. 62), Coquelin, Álex. B (Iborra, m. 75), Chukwueze (Yeremy, m. 62), Bacca (Fer Niño, m. 62), Take (Gerard, m. 62).

Goals: 0-1. Min. 44: Baena. 1-1. Min. 46: Pesic.

Referee: Tiago Martins (Portugal): Booked: Kandil Tenembaum (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Coquelin, Funes Mori, R. Peña (Villlareal). Sent off: Saborit (89’).

Matchday information: Game between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Villarreal CF, corresponding to UEFA Europa League Group Stage Matchday 4 at the Bloomfield Stadium. 


Incidencias: Partido entre el Maccabi Tel Aviv y el Villarreal CF correspondiente a la jornada 4 de la Fase de Grupos de la UEFA Europa League celebrado en el Estadio de Bloomfield.