Villarreal picked up a solid win in their fourth preaseason friendly against Sheffield Wednesday (1-3). The Yellows put in a great performance with goals by new additions to the squad, Gerard Moreno, Funes Mori and Toko Ekambi, that gave the Submarine a well-deserved victory. Javi Calleja’s side are evidently improving and the best version of Villarreal is taking shape with sights set on their league debut against Real Sociedad on 18th August.
Tempo and determination. Villarreal stepped onto the pitch seeing a win as the only option - and that is exactly what they came away with in their fourth preseason tie against Sheffield Wednesday. In the opening minutes, the Yellow Submarine were pressing high and stringing passes together in dangerous areas. In the 7th minute, Gerard Moreno sent out a warning with a shot across goal that fell just wide of the mark.
Ten minutes later, Alfonso Pedraza sent a perfectly timed and weighted cross into the box from the left wing. Gerard Moreno, waiting expectantly in the box, pounced on it and made no mistake finishing firmly with his head to give the Yellows the lead (0-1).
After Villarreal’s opener, the home side set out to equalize spurred on by their fans and after half an hour of play they got what they wanted. Palmer managed to beat Asenjo with a driven shot that crept just inside the right post (1-1). Sheffield were in the game again. Shortly after, Gerard Moreno almost got himself another one with a shot from the edge of the box, but his effort went just wide.
In the second half, Villarreal CF came out strong and were soon on top again. Funes Mori rose above everyone in the box to node home the Yellows’ second of the game (1-2).
Up by one, the Submarine were playing their best football giving them lots of positives to take away from the game. Among them was the Gerard-Ekambi connection, which is very encouraging for Villarreal CF. It was precisely a great play between the two that gave the Yellows their third goal of the afternoon. The French-Cameroonian striker played a one-two with Gerard and his speed did the rest. He beat the Sheffield defence for pace and lobbed the keeper with an impeccable finish (1-3).
Sheffield did not back down though and tried to close the gap. However, the Yellows’ solid back line and long spells of possession made sure the game finished 1-3. A first victory for Villarreal who are already looking ahead to the start of the league season.
Sheffield Wednesday: Wildsmith; Palmer, Van Aken, Pelupessy, Bannan; Lees, Nuhiu, Boyd, Hutchinson; Pudil and Forestieri.
Also played: Dawson, Jones, Fox, Fletcher, Thorniley, Joao, Matias, Reach, Baker and Nielsen.
Villarreal CF: Asenjo; Miguelón, Álvaro, Funes Mori, Pedraza; Cáseres, Cazorla, Castillejo, Fornals; Ekambi and Gerard.
Also played: Layún, Mario, N’Diaye, Leo Suárez, Morlanes, Sansone Ünal, Pau, Víctor Ruiz and Adrián Marín.
Goals: 0-1. Min. 17: Gerard Moreno. 1-1. Min. 33: Palmer. 1-2. Min. 48: Funes Mori. 1-3. Min. 68: Ekambi.
Referee: Andy Madley (England).
Estadio: Hillsborough Stadium (Sheffield, England).
Match Information: Fourth preseason friendly for Villarreal played at the Hillsborough Stadium in front of 10,631 spectators.