A well-earned point, but bittersweet. Villarreal CF drew against RCD Espanyol tonight in a match in which the Yellows had plenty of clear goal scoring opportunities to take the three points. The Submarine were not clinical enough on this occasion though.
Fran Escribá made some changes to his starting eleven. A special mention must be given to Denis Cheryshev who started his first match since getting injured seven months ago.
The match started with some controversial reffing. Firstly, the referee disallowed Rodrigo’s goal for a prior foul on Espanyol goalkeeper Pau López (m. 7), then shortly after, Munuera Montero dismissed penalty appeals after Javi Fuego took down Samu Castillejo in the box (m. 9).
After all the initial confusion, the chances started to materialize. The Catalonian side had two good chances, both headers, one by Jurado and the other by Hermoso. The first just missed the goal and Barbosa made a spectacular, stretching save to keep out the second.
The Yellows got their wits about them and started to create chances after chance of their own. Trigueros surprised everyone in the stadium as he attempted to catch out Pau López with a strike from 30 yards out and his effort almost went in, but just scraped the crossbar in the end. Then Bakambu and Castillejo both struck straight down the middle of the gol after two great plays by the Yellows.
The second half continued with the same intensity. Cédric Bakambu turned brilliantly in the box and it was a miracle his shot did not hit the back of the net (m. 69).
As the game went on it got more and more heated. Fran Escribá changed things up by bringing on Soriano, Enes Ünal and Fornals, in that order, and all three gave the Yellowsa boost. The Turkish forward in particular had a couple of chances that narrowly missed Pau López’s goal.
In the end, the Yellows were not clinical enough and the final whistle saw both teams take away a point. Villarreal CF’s next match is this Sunday against Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez stadium (4:15pm CEST).
Villarreal CF: Barbosa; Mario, Álvaro, Víctor Ruiz, Jaume Costa; Samu Castillejo, Trigueros (Fornals, m. 80), Rodrigo, Cheryshev (Soriano, m. 60); Bakambu and Bacca (Enes Ünal, m. 66).
RCD Espanyol: Pau López; Víctor Sánchez, Hermoso, David López, Aarón; Darder, Javi Fuego; Leo Baptistao (Sergio García, m. 67), Jurado, Piatti (Melendo, m. 59); and Gerard Moreno.
Referee: Munuera Montero (Andalusia, Spain). Cautioned: Bacca, Bakambu, Trigueros, Álvaro and Fornals for Villarreal; Víctor Sánchez for Espanyol.
Match Information: Match corresponding to Matchday 5 of the LaLiga Santander played at the Estadio de la Cerámica in front of 17,094 spectators. A minute of silence was held in memory of José Luis Linares, ex-Villarreal player who helped the team to the first promotion to the Second Division in 1970 and Manager in the second promotion in 1992, and of the victims of the earthquake in Mexico.