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Joy ahead of the international break (0-1)
Joy ahead of the international break (0-1)

Villarreal get back to winning ways with a hard-fought victory over Espanyol

Extremely important. Villarreal got back to winning ways thanks to a hard-fought victory over Espanyol. A solitary own goal was enough for the Submarine to take some joy before the break. The Yellows were desperate for three points in the last league game before the World Cup.

The Submarine monopolised possession from the outset. For their part, Espanyol were waiting in the wings to create danger on the counter-attack. Both teams had clear chances to score in the first half, although none of them came to fruition.

First Javi Puado found himself alone in front of Gero Rulli and forced the Argentinian goalkeeper to make a crucial save in the fourth minute. Just a few seconds later, Villarreal responded with a shot from Arnaut Danjuma that was off target.

The game went according to plan. With the first quarter of an hour gone, Yeremy could have put the Yellows ahead. The winger received a fantastic long pass from Jorge Cuenca and shot hard, only for Benjamin Lecomte to make a superb save.

The exchange of blows was constant, especially before the half-hour mark. Alberto Moreno saved a shot from Sergi Darder that looked very dangerous.

After the half-time interval, Villarreal came out looking to open the scoring. Samu Chukwueze, always dangerous on the right, created two clear chances. Neither Étienne Capoue nor Dani Parejo could find the net either.

Later it was Chukwueze himself who, with a devilish curling shot, looked for the top corner without finding it. There were a lot of chances without any reward.

Espanyol were not far behind with a cross from Aleix Vidal that was headed by Bare. The ball was kept out by a miraculous save from Rulli.

The joy for the Yellows came in the 65th minute. Yeremy shot against the post, the ball fell at the feet of Alberto Moreno and he tried to score from out wide. Lecomte, in his attempt to clear the ball with his foot, ended up putting it into his own net (0-1).

Double joy with the return of Foyth and Gerard

The 76th minute saw two long-awaited returns for Villarreal. Juan Foyth and Gerard Moreno returned to the pitch after recovering from injuries. The Argentine defender was injured on 28th August against Getafe, while the Spanish No. 7 had not played since 11th September against Real Betis.

The last few minutes were heart-stopping. Gero Rulli put on his hero’s suit. A giant who made the ‘pericos’ desperate. An important win.


RCD Espanyol: Lecomte; Óscar Gil, Sergi Gómez, Calero, B. Oliván (Lazo, m. 89); Vini Souza (Edu Expósito, m. 59), Darder, Bare (Nico, m. 80); Puado (Dani Gómez, m. 80), Joselu, Braithwaite (Aleix Vidal, m. 59).

Villarreal CF: Rulli; Kiko Femenía (Foyth, m. 76), Albiol, Cuenca, Alberto Moreno; Parejo (Morlanes, m. 85), Capoue (Coquelin, m. 69), Trigueros (Baena, m. 69); Chukwueze, Danjuma (Gerard, m. 76), Yeremy.

Goals: 0-1. Min. 64: Lecomte (own goal).

Referee: Iglesias Villanueva. Booked: Nico (RCD Espanyol); Capoue, Yeremy & Albiol (Villarreal CF).

Matchday information: Game corresponding to Matchday 14 of the 2022/23 LaLiga season at the RCDE Stadium.