A point that took pure effort and sacrifice. Villarreal took away a point from the Sánchez Pizjuán stadium (0-0) in a match where the Yellows, despite having serveal clear chances, stood out for their impressive defensive performance and an incredible display by Sergio Asenjo. The Yellows number 1 saved a penalty and miraculously kept out the Andalusian side’s many goal scoring opportunities.
The first half started at an extremely high tempo. Both side’s were fizzing the ball around quickly and in the first play Jovetic had a good chance, followed a few more opportunites through which Sevilla could have taken the lead. The home side showed they meant business from the off. On the other hand, Villarreal were well organized, closing off all gaps to stop the locals finding a way through.
In the 9th minute, after a great counterattack by the Submarine, Adrián had a great chance for the Yellows after a sublime pass by Jonathan dos Santos. Quickly closed down in the box, the striker sent the ball towards Sergio Rico’s left post, almost putting Fran Escribá’s side ahead, but his effort fell just wide. Sevilla’s response was immediate and, in the 17th minute, Asenjo was called upon to make a goal-line save from a dangerous header by Ben Yedder.
Sevilla were on the front foot and so the Submarine opted to sit back and put a stop to the locals’ attempts. The Yellows, well organized at the back, looked to attack on the counter. In the 24th minute, José Ángel took a fantastic free kick that went just wide of the post. And in the 40th minute, Jonathan dos Santos tried to surprise Rico with a shot on the half turn, but the Sevilla goalkeeper was equal to it.
The second half kicked off with emotions running high. In the 48th minute, the referee pointed to the penalty spot in favour of the home side. It was then that Sergio Asenjo stepped up, showing his class after making a fine save to keep out Nasri’s spot kick.
From then on, the Yellows started to attack more and have more possession of the ball against a Sevilla that were showing signs of fatigue after their big effort in the first half. In the 54th minute, Adrián had another great chance, but through one on one with Sergio Rico he hit his shot into the side netting.
In the last 20 minutes, the locals picked up their game and were playing like they did at the start, piling the pressure on Fran Escribá’s men. Sevilla had a clear chance to win it at the end, with a great header by Iborra in the 81st minute, but Asenjo, once again, made a spectacular save.
Sevilla FC: Sergio Rico; Mariano (Pablo Sarabia, m. 61), Mercado, Rami, Lenglet; Franco Vázquez (Iborra, m. 76), N'Zonzi; Vitolo, Nasri, Jovetic (Vietto, m. 71); and Ben Yedder.
Villarreal CF: Asenjo; Mario, Bonera, Víctor Ruiz, José Ángel; Bruno, Rodri; Jonathan dos Santos, Trigueros (Rukavina, m. 88), Castillejo (Cheryshev, m. 64); and Adrián López (Bakambu, m. 70).
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Navarra, Spain). Cautioned: Nasri (m. 24) and Mercado (m. 43) for Sevilla; Bruno (m. 27) and Mario (m. 51) for Villarreal.