Madness! (3-3)
Madness! (3-3)

Villarreal went ahead twice against Spartak but needed an injury-time goal to equalise

Villarreal drew against Spartak Moscow in an ever-changing game. The Yellows went ahead twice, before the Russian side turned the game on its head, before finally Santi Cazorla levelled the match from the penalty spot with the last kick of the game. The Yellow Submarine’s goals came from Toko Ekambi, Pablo Fornals and Cazorla, while Spartak’s were scored by Zé Luis and Lorenzo Melgarejo.

Javi Calleja made changes to the starting XI to refresh the team. The most noticeable addition was that of Samu Chukwueze, who made his first start in the Yellows attack. He had already made his first-team debut against Rangers, but this time he was named in the lineup from the off.

It was Samu who had the first real attempt too, with his left-footed shot being deflected to safety.

The Yellow Submarine got ahead in the 13th minute. Toko Ekambi received the ball out wide on the left, cut into the area, and let loose a right-footed shot which entered in the top right-hand corner of the goal. It was a great bit of play by the French-Cameroonian (0-1). Spartak pushed forward looking for an equaliser and were denied by Andrés Fernández in the 13th minute, who kept Roman Zobnin out at full stretch.

The next piece of play saw the referee point to the penalty spot. The ball hit the arm of Nicola Sansone and Zé Luis made no mistake with his effort from 12 yards out (1-1, m.33).

After half-time, the Yellow Submarine looked strong and with only three minutes on the clock in the second half, scored the goal to make it 1-2. Fornals made the most of a loose pass in the Russian backline to produce a low, classy finish with his left foot (1-2, m.48). It was pure elegance.

Villarreal looked solid and were quick and dangerous in attack. Calleja was brave and sent on Gerard Moreno to try and kill the game off. But Spartak did not give in. In fact, they managed to get the ball in the back of the net thanks to a great header from Melgarejo, but German referee Daniel Siebert disallowed it for offside.

The Submarine had to deal with an onslaught. Sofiane Hanni’s dangerous shot went across the box. The Yellows tried to do their best to get the killer goal on the break, but were unable to.

Spartak equalised in the 81st minute. Zé Luis headed home after a cross from the left (2-2). And three minutes later they had completely turned the game around. Hanni hit the post and Melgarejo was first to the rebound to make it 3-2.

It felt like that was game over, but this team never gives up. So, the goal to make it 3-3 came in added time. Ramiro Funes Mori was fouled in the area, and the referee signalled for a penalty with 95 minutes on the clock. Cazorla took responsibility and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way. Madness!

Villarreal’s next match will be this Sunday against Espanyol in the RCDE Stadium (6:30pm).


FC Spartak Moscow: Maksimenko; Rasskazov, Bocchetti, Dzhikiya, Kombarov (Timofeev, m. 89); Zobnin, Fernando, Ignatov (Hanni, m. 68); Lomovitski (Tashaev, m. 79), Melgarejo, Zé Luis.

Villarreal CF: Andrés Fernández; Mario Gaspar, Bonera, Víctor Ruiz, Pedraza; Funes Mori, Trigueros; Samu Chukwueze (Cazorla, m. 70), Sansone (Gerard, m. 60), Fornals; Toko Ekambi (Layún, m. 76).

Goals: 0-1. Min. 13: Toko Ekambi. 1-1. Min. 33: Zé Luis (p) 1-2. Min. 48: Fornals. 2-2. Min. 81: Zé Luis. 3-2. Min. 84: Melgarejo. 3-3. Min. 95: Cazorla, (p).

Referee: Daniel Siebert (GER). Booked: Dzhikiya, Fernando, Rasskazov (Spartak Moscow); Sansone (Villarreal).

Match information: Matchday 2 of the UEFA Europa League group stage at the Moscow Stadium.