Villarreal take down Málaga at the Estadio de la Cerámica thanks to a stellar performance by Nicola Sansone, who came on in the second half and scored two goals. This result takes the Yellow Submarine into fifth place in the LaLiga Satander table going into the international break.
Javi Calleja made a surprise addition to his starting eleven by choosing Chuca. The young midfielder, who has already played for the First Team against Real Betis and Slavia Prague this season, played his first match as a starter. Chuca played on the left of a midfield diamond, together with teammates Rodrigo, Fornals and Soriano.
The confidence the Manager has in Chuca was evident as he was the player in charge of taking direct free kicks and corners. In fact, he came close to scoring with a freekick that just went over the crossbar.
Both teams were solid in the opening minutes, but the Submarine dominated the possession from the off. Villarreal did score a goal in the first half but it was ruled offside by the linesman, Bakambu did well to head the ball home from a good ball in by Chuca from a wide free kick.
The second half started with a fright. Peñaranda headed the ball down towards Barbosa’s bottom corner, but the Villarreal goalkeeper made a fine, stretching sabe to push the ball around the post and out for a corner kick.
From fright to delight. Villarreal took the lead in the 67th minute through Nicola Sansone. The Yellow number 18, who had just stepped onto the pitch, headed the ball into the back of the net as Bacca set him up with a chipped ball back from the by-line (1-0). Bravo! The Yellow Submarine had done the hard part.
After the opening goal, roles changed though. Málaga went in search of the equaliser and piled the pressure on Villarreal, the Yellows looking to catch the Andalusian side out on the counterattack.
Villarreal’s decisive second was a brace for Nicola Sansone. The Italian-German striker received a perfect through ball from Pablo Fornals, that sent him through one on one with Málaga goalkeeper, Roberto, and he managed to strike the ball under him and into the net. Mamma mia!
Villarreal CF: Barbosa; Mario, Bonera, Víctor Ruiz, Jaume Costa; Rodrigo, Soriano (Cheryshev, m. 56), Fornals, Chuca (Sansone, m. 63); Bakambu and Bacca (Raba, m. 81).
Málaga CF: Roberto; Rosales, Baysse, Luis Hernández, Juankar; Keko (Borja Bastón, m. 79), Recio, Adrián, Chory (Jony, m. 74), Juanpi (En-Nesyri, m. 68); and Peñaranda.
Goals: 1-0. Min. 67: Sansone. 2-0. Min. 75: Sansone.
Referee: Estrada Fernández (Catalonia, Spain). Cautioned: Chuca and Jaume Costa for Villarreal; Chory, Peñaranda, Adrián and Recio for Málaga.
Match Information: Match corresponding to Matchday 11 of the LaLiga Santander played at the Estadio de la Cerámica in front of 17,755 fans.