Controversial draw against Sevilla (1-1)
Controversial draw against Sevilla (1-1)

Both sides shared the points in a match which was marked by the controversial late decision

Sevilla FC and Villarreal CF shared the points at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán Stadium on Sunday evening. Kike Salas gave the home side the lead in the 75th minute and José Morales, just a minute later, equalised in a match that could have been won by the Submarine in the 96th minute when Ben Brereton’s goal was disallowed by the VAR for an alleged foul by the striker on Salas.

In the clash corresponding to Matchday 15 of LALIGA, two teams faced each other in desperate need of a win. Villarreal CF went into the match in the best form of the season after three wins out of three since Marcelino’s arrival at the Yellows’ helm and with the aim of continuing to climb the LALIGA standings. Sevilla, meanwhile, were defeated in their last league game against Real Sociedad (2-1) and looked to beat the Yellow Submarine to turn the situation around.

Sevilla FC pressed Villarreal CF high up the pitch in the first half of the game. The Yellows, precise in their positioning and passing, were not troubled and overcame the home side’s pressure on several occasions, also motivated by the encouragement of their fans.

Villarreal’s first chance of the game came when Dmitrovic gave the ball to Álex Baena, who gave it to Gerard Moreno and the Catalan opened up the flank for Altimira to put a ball into the heart of the box that only a home defender prevented a yellow attacker from finishing.

Morales, still in the first half, had two chances on the counter-attack but failed to find the space to finish. 

The team coached by Diego Alonso stifled Villarreal in the final minutes of the first half and, through sideways crosses, overwhelmed a Submarine side who were able to suffer and were solid in defence to avoid conceding before the break.

Thus, the initial draw remained at the end of the first 45 minutes at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán Stadium.

Villarreal came out all guns blazing at the start of the second half and, in just three minutes, had two very clear chances to take the lead. First Álex Baena, who, after controlling a great pass inside the box from Pedraza, shot with his less skilful leg, but the ball was pushed away by Dmitrovic.

Just two minutes later, Altimira came up with a measured through ball for Juan Foyth, who arrived from the second line and, after rushing to the byline, played a killer pass to Morales that was cut out at the last moment by Nianzou to prevent the commander’s shot.

The Sevilla side began to grow during the second half and, with the constant appearances of Juanlu Sánchez and Lucas Ocampos on the right flank, they bombarded the yellow area with crosses to the head of En-Nesyri.

Marcelino moved the bench and introduced a double substitution in the 70th minute of the match. Capoue and Alberto Moreno came on for Altimira and Santi Comesaña.

In the 75th minute of the match, Sevilla took the lead. Kike Salas finished off a cross from Pedrosa and put the ball into the back of the net.

And what a reaction from Villarreal! A minute after the home side’s goal, Alfonso Pedraza put in a low cross that found José Morales who stretched out his leg to send the ball into the back of the net and equalise.

In the 84th minute of the match, the Submarine were punished for their physical condition. Alberto Moreno, who had come on just a few minutes earlier, had to leave the pitch, leaving his place to Ilias Akhomach. Likewise, Francis Coquelin came on in place of Dani Parejo and, nine months later, he felt like a footballer again.

In the last play of the game, Ben Brereton, alone against the world, started a Maradona-like move that ended with a superb goal that the referee later disallowed after consulting the VAR for an alleged foul by the Chilean striker on Kike Salas.

After the match against Nervión, Villarreal face a demanding week in which they will face Maccabi Haifa on Wednesday, at 9pm CET, at the Estadio de la Cerámica in the postponed match corresponding to Matchday 3 of the Europa League group stage, and on Saturday, also at the Estadio de la Cerámica, against Real Sociedad at 6:30pm CET.

Line-ups:

Sevilla FC: Dmitrovic; Juanlu, Nianzou (min. 72, Kike Salas), Gudelj, Acuña (min. 46, Pedrosa); I. Rakitic, Fernando, Sow; L. Ocampos, Lukébakio, Y. En-Nesyri.

Villarreal CF: Jörgensen; Foyth, R. Albiol, J. Cuenca, A. Pedraza; A. Alti (min. 70, Alberto M. (min. 83, I. Akhomach), Santi C. V. (min. 70, Capoue), Parejo (min. 83, Coquelin), Álex B., Gerard, A. J. Morales (min. 89, Brereton Díaz).

Goals: 1-0. Min. 75: Kike Salas. 1-1. Min. 76: A. J. Morales.

Referee: Díaz de Mera Escuderos. Booked: Juanlu (Sevilla FC); A. Pedraza, A. Alti (Villarreal CF).

Matchday infomation: Match between Sevilla FC and Villarreal CF corresponding to Matchday 15 of the 2023/24 LALIGA EA Sports season at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán.

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