Unai Emery’s side beat Atlético in their own stadium thanks to goals from Yeremy and Gerard
A great win at the Metropolitano! Villarreal overcame Atlético de Madrid (0-2) at their own stadium thanks to goals from Yeremy Pino and Gerard Moreno. The Yellows gave a lesson in play and competitiveness on a tough stage and ended up taking an important win to underline their excellent start to the season. Two wins in two games. Six points from a possible six for Unai Emery’s side.
After an impressive win in Valladolid, Emery’s team went into another league fixture, facing one of the biggest teams in the division, Atlético de Madrid. Emery lined up with almost the same starting XI from the opening game, with the exception of Gio Lo Celso, who came in for Francis Coquelin.
Villarreal started the match with personality, playing the ball out from the back and generating advantages behind the Barcelona press. The Yellows had several dangerous chances before the half-hour mark. Lo Celso and Étienne Capoue both tested Jan Oblak.
In the closing stages of the first half, Atlético de Madrid, who had few chances until then, put in a couple of crosses from out wide looking for Álvaro Morata. The striker found the target twice, but Gero Rulli saved easily.
The game even out and the tempo dropped after the break. Villarrael, well positioned on the pitch at the Metropolitano, were unable to find the fluency that they had in the opening 45 minutes. Faced with this situation, Emery looked to the bench. Francis Coquelin and Álex Baena came on to add some fresh legs in the middle of the pitch.
From the 70th minute onwards, both teams went in search of the winning goal. Atlético de Madrid offered the first warning. Cunha went close, but he was denied by a fantastic Rulli save after a quick run from Correa down the right.
Even if it was Atlético who provided a warning, it was Villarreal who struck first. Yeremy was astute and took advantage of a mistake by Molina to steal the ball inside the box and beat Jan Oblak with a powerful low shot. The Submarine went ahead at the Metropolitano.
In the final minutes, Rulli pulled off a world-class sabe on the goal line, silencing the stadium as they almost celebrated the equaliser. The Argentinian goalkeeper, who produced the save of the season from Carrasco’s close-range effort, was tremendous throughout.
In a heart-stopping finish, José Luis Morales could have scored the second goal on the counter-attack, but Oblak stopped him. And after a period of stoppage time which seemed never-ending, Gerard sealed the game at the Civitas Metropolitano.
Atlético de Madrid: Oblak; Molina L., Savic (J. M. Giménez, m. 76), Witsel, Reinildo, Carrasco; M. Llorente (Griezmann, m. 62), Koke, Lemar (R. De Paul m. 62); Joao Felix (Cunha, m. 70) Morata (Correa, m. 70).
Villarreal CF: Rulli; Foyth, R. Albiol, Pau, A. Pedraza; Lo Celso (Álex B., m. 70), Parejo, Capoue (Coquelin, m. 70), Yeremy (Chukwueze, m. 76); Gerard y N. Jackson (A. J. Morales, m. 84).
Goals: 0-1. Min. 73: Yeremy. 0-2. Min. 97: Gerard.
Referee: De Burgos Bengoetxea. Booked: Joao Felix (Atlético de Madrid), Parejo, Álex B. & Gerard (Villarreal CF). Sent off: Molina L. (Atlético de Madrid).
Matchday information: Match between Atlético de Madrid and Villarreal CF, corresponding to Matchday 2 of the 2022/23 LaLiga season, at the Civitas Metropolitano, with an attendance of 57,033.