Villarreal beat Levante UD at home with goals by Trigueros (penalty) and Cheryshev tonight in what was a very complete performance by the Yellow Submarine (2-1). A win that means the Yellows to sleep in fourth place tonight as Real Madrid will play against RC Deportivo de la Coruña tomorrow.
Javi Calleja’s side were consistent after last week’s historic win at the Bernabéu. There were only two changes in the starting eleven from the lineup that set up against Real Madrid. Enes Ünal replaced the suspended Carlos Bacca and Cheryshev took the place of youngster Raba.
The Yellows were on their game from the start. Rodrigo came very close to opening the scoring as he got up for a fantastic header but did not quite make enough contact and the ball sailed just wide of the far post (m. 10). Just three minutes later the Submarine almost took the lead again. Enes Ünal hit a looping shot from the top of the box that hit the underside of the crossbar, the goal line and then the crossbar again, before Cheryshev attempted to head home the rebound from a yard out. Levante UD goalkeeper, Oier, made a spectacular save from point-blank range to keep Villarreal at bay though.
The woodwork came to the visitors' rescue in the next clear chance for the Yellows as well. Samu Castillejo turned brilliantly in the box and struck the near post with a powerful left-footed shot. The Villarreal players and fans couldn’t believe their luck.
The reward for persistence came in the 25th minute. Castillejo was brought down in the box by Oier and Manu Trigueros stepped up to convert the spot kick with a cool finish down the middle (1-0).
The Submarine extended their lead just after the restart. Moments before Castillejo had hit the post after more excellent individual play and it gave the Yellows the momentum needed to net their second. Enes Ünal got free down the right wing and sent in a driven cross in front of goal that Denis Cheryshev slid into the back of the net after arriving surely at the far post (2-0).
From then on Villarreal controlled the game, looking to score their third on the counterattack which never came. It was in fact Levante UD who scored in the last play of the match, after the referee awarded a penalty to the visitors having deemed Bonera to commit a foul in the area. Roger stepped up and scored the penalty (2-1), but the referee blew the whistle straight after which sees the Yellows jump Real Madrid and go into fourth place in the LaLiga Santander table. Sweet dreams, Yellows fans!
Villarreal CF: Asenjo; Mario, Bonera, Álvaro, Jaume Costa; Samu Castillejo (Roger Martínez, m. 75), Rodrigo, Trigueros, Fornals (Ramiro, m. 85); Cheryshev (Raba, m. 64) and Enes Ünal.
Levante UD: Oier; Coke, Rober Pier, Postigo, Luna; Doukouré (Campaña, m. 76), Lerma; Jason (Roger, m. 64), Lukic (Ivi, m. 52), Morales; and Boateng.
Goals: 1-0. Min. 25: Trigueros, de penalti. 2-0. Min. 50: Cheryshev. 2-1. Min. 93: Roger, penalty.
Referee: González González. Cautioned: Jaume Costa and Álvaro for Villarreal; Lukic and Postigo for Levante.
Match Information: Match corresponding to Matchday 20 of the LaLiga Santander played at the Estadio de la Cerámica in front of 16,773 spectators.