Placeholder canvas
Defeat in the fourth pre-season friendly (2-1)
Defeat in the fourth pre-season friendly (2-1)

Villarreal lose against Olympique Marseille at the Stade Orange Vélodrome playing the second half with a man less

It wasn’t to be. Villarreal lost their fourth friendly of the 2021/22 pre-season against Olympique Marseille (2-1) in a strange match which was hugely affected by the harsh sending off of Juan Foyth at the start of the second half. The dismissal of the Argentine led to the sending off of head coach Unai Emery, leaving the Yellows without their manager on the bench.

At the end of the game, it was a win for a fighting French side against the Submarine, who despite growing into the game, and even getting a goal back through Alberto Moreno’s impressive strike after going 2-0 down, were unable to avoid defeat.

The French side went ahead on the scoreboard after nine minutes at the Stade Orange Vélodrome in a piece of bad luck for Emery’s men. Fer Niño tried to clear a dangerous Dimitri Payet free-kick, but the ball ended up in Sergio Asenjo’s net. After the goal that made it 1-0, Villarreal started to cause danger to Steve Mandanda’s goal. Fer Niño had the first chance for the Yellows, with a shot that ended up causing a corner.

The Submarine were getting more comfortable on the pitch as the game went on, against an Olympique Marseille side whose early dominance started to diminish thanks to the pressure from Emery’s men. The first yellow card of the game went to Foyth just before referee Pierre Gaillouiste blew for half-time, in a first half Villarreal were looking comfortable on the ball.

The referee made a strange decision just moments after the start of the second half, which changed the tempo of the game completely. He showed a strict yellow card to Foyth, his second, and therefore sending him off, after a light challenge. The sending off led to protest from the Yellows’ bench, which ended in head coach Emery also being sent off, in shock at what had happened.

In the 58th minute, Olympique Marseille made it 2-0 thanks to a Payet goal. After conceding the second, the Submarine looked to the bench to try and face the rest of the game as best as possible given their numerical inferiority. Albero Moreno and Álex Millán came off the bench, replacing Nikita Iosifov and Mario Gaspar. Millán was close to scoring Villarreal’s first soon after coming on. As the game was coming to an end, Álex Baena, Jorge Cuenca and Javi Ontiveros also had time on the pitch, coming on for Manu Morlanes, Raúl Albiol and Fer Niño.

Emery’s side showed willingness and characters in the closing stages, despite having being a player down. Alberto Moreno made it 2-1 in the 88th minute to keep the Yellows alive, but Olympique Marseille ended up winning at the Stade Orange Vélodrome (2-1).

Next up for Villarreal CF is their fifth game of pre-season, against Leicester City on Wednesday 4th August at 8:45pm CEST.


  •  Olympique Marseille: Mandanda; Balerdi, Saliba, Peres; Rongier, Gueye, Payet, Guendouzi, Gerson; Under, Henrique. Also played: Álvaro González, Konrad, Dieng, Radonjic, Targhalline.
  •  Villarreal CF: Asenjo; Mario Gaspar, Albiol, Mandi, Pedraza; Morlanes, Foyth, Trigueros; Yeremy Pino, Fer Niño, Nikita Iosifov. Also played: Rubén Peña, Alberto Moreno, Álex Millán, Álex Baena, Cuenca, Ontiveros.
  •  Goals1-0. Min. 9: Fer Niño (OG). 2-0. Min. 58: Payet. 2-1. Min. 82: Alberto Moreno.
  •  Referee: Pierre Gaillouste. Booked: Balerdi, Gueye (Olympique Marseille). Sent off: Foyth, Unai Emery (Villarreal CF).