It wasn’t to be. Villarreal fell to Real Betis on their visit to the Benito Villamarín stadium in a match that was heavily influenced by the sending off of Bonera, that left with Yellows with ten men from the 30th minute onwards after a high challenge on Rubén Castro. The Yellows, depite playing a man down, gave it everything in the second half to get the equaliser, but the green-and-whites sentenced the match with a second in the 64th minute, Loren netting a brace on his debut.
The first half an hour of the match was just as Calleja has predicted: a constant battle for the ball. With the ball being knocked around at speed, Betis looked comfortable against the Yellow Submarine who kept possession well to put a halt to the Andalusian side’s aspirations.
But everything changed on the half an hour mark. After the Yellows lost possession in their half, Bonera strode forward to meet the ball and stretched to reach it, but missed and made contact with Rubén Castro. The referee showed the Italian a straight red and the match took an uphill turn for Villarreal, who faced the next hour of play with just ten men.
After the goal, Javi Calleja put on Álvaro to keep the Yellows strong at the back and Betis took control of the game. The Submarine held strong against a wave of green-and-white attacking play, but in the last play of the first half Loren broke the deadlock on his debut with an impressive strike from long range.
Despite the difficult task ahead, Villarreal did not back down and came out in the second half all guns blazing. The Yellows pinned Betis into their area and, in the 58th minute, Bacca came close to equalising but his shot struck the post. Luck wasn’t on the Submarine’s side and, in the 64th minute, it was Loren again who put the ball past Asenjo with a glancing header to give Betis a 2-0 lead.
Ten minutes from time, Barragán took down Cheryshev in the box and the game opened up as Bacca made no mistake with his penalty kick to pull one back for the Yellows. It was too little too late though, there wasn’t enough time left for Villarreal to get a second and as a result the Yellows suffer their first defeat in six league matches.
- Real Betis Balompié: Adán; Barragán, Bartra, Mandi, Feddal (Camarasa, m. 55), Durmisi; Amat, Guardado, Fabián; Loren and Rubén Castro (Sergio León, m. 65).
- Villarreal CF: Asenjo, Mario, Bonera, Víctor Ruiz, Jaume Costa; Castillejo (Javi Fuego, m. 73), Rodri, Trigueros (Cheryshev, m. 65), Fornals; Bacca and Enes Ünal (Álvaro, m. 35).
- Goals: 1-0. Min. 44: Loren. 2-0. Min. 64: Loren. 2-1. Min. 79: Bacca, de penalti.
- Referee: Javier Arberola Rojas. Cautioned: Rodrigo (m. 40) and Mario (m. 40) for Villarreal; Barragán (m. 78) for Betis. Sent off: Bonera (m. 30) for Villarreal.
- Match Information: Match corresponding to Matchday 22 of the LaLiga Santander between Real Betis Balompié and Villarreal played at the Estadio Benito Villamarín in front of 50,102 spectators.