An exciting victory for starters (3-1)
An exciting victory for starters (3-1)

Villarreal take down Astana on Matchday 1 of the UEFA Europa League and Cheryshev scored on his return

It was a match in which emotions were running high. Villarreal beat Astana in their first game of the Group stage of the UEFA Europa League. The Yellows took the lead early on, then the side from Kazakhstan equalised, but it was the home side that finished stronger. It was a match that will be remembered for a long time by Denis Cheryshev, as the Russian scored a goal in his first game back after seven months out injured. The other two Submarine goals were scored by Sansone and Bakambu.

Fran Escribá made five changes to the starting eleven with regard to the previous match’s lineup against Real Betis at the Estadio de la Cerámica. Mario, Semedo and Bonera came into the back line, while Sansone and Enes Ünal started up front.

The Submarine opened the scoring after just a quarter of an hour of play. Jaume Costa played a pass inside to Sansone from the left wing, the number 18 controlled the ball inside the box and with his next touch fired the ball under Astana goalkeeper, Eric. An excellent finish by the German-Italian (1-0, m. 15).

The Yellows controlled the game from the start and created some clear chances before half time. Castillejo and Sansone, with a superb free kick that brushed the top corner, both almost scored the second for the Submarine.

The Kazakh side also had chances to score before the break. Murtazayev had a good opportunity to score with his head, but his effort ended in Mariano Barbosa’s trusty hands.

Astana did equalize in the second half though. Logvinenko was first to the ball from a corner kick and powered his header into the Yellows net (1-1, m. 67).

Cheryshev returns with a goal after seven months out

One of the highlights of the match was the much awaited return of Denis Cheryshev after seven months out to injury. And his comeback could not have been better, as he got himself on the score sheet. Cheryshev had not played an official match since 26th February against Real Madrid.

Just seconds after Cheryshev stepped onto the pitch the Yellows took the lead again. Bakambu fought for the ball whilst on the ground, got up with it at his feet on the edge of the box and bent his shot into the goal at the far post (2-1, m. 74). Great perseverance.

The goal gave Villarreal momentum. Thus, the third goal did not take long to arrive. Rodrigo set off down the right wing and put in a driven cross to the far post, where Cheryshev was waiting to smash the ball into the bak of the net. What a comeback. The Russian midfielder kissed the grass at the Estadio de la Cerámica for his celebration. He is happy to be back and we are even happier he is.

With this win, Villarreal have won their last two games. Next up is Deportivo Alavés at the Mendizorroza stadium (Sunday, 12pm CEST).


Villarreal CF: Barbosa; Mario, Semedo, Bonera, Jaume Costa; Castillejo (Leo Suárez, m. 86), Rodrigo, Trigueros, Fornals (Cheryshev, m. 73); Sansone (Bakambu, m. 69) and Enes Ünal.

FC Astana: Eric; Postnikov, Logvinenko, Anicic, Shomko; Beysebekov (Tagybergen, m. 86), Maevski, Grahovac, Muznikov (Shitov, m. 82); Twumasi and Murtazayev (Tomasov, m. 66).

Goals: 1-0. Min. 15: Sansone. 1-1. Min. 67: Logvinenko. 2-1. Min. 74: Bakambu. 3-1. Min. 76: Cheryshev.

Referee: Srdjan Jovanic (Serbia). Cautioned: Mario Gaspar for Villarreal; Logvinenko and Anicic for Astana.

Match Information: Match corresponding to Matchday 1 of the Group stage of the UEFA Europa League played at the Estadio de la Cerámica.