Villarreal drew against Angers SCO (0-0) in their fifth preseason friendly. The match, that had no great chances, served to give the players more minutes and for the coaching staff to try things out ahead of the Yellows' opening league match against Real Sociedad on Saturday 18th August.
A party awaited Villarreal CF at the Raymond Kopa stadium as the French club officially presented their team ahead of the 2018/19 season. For his part, Yellows striker Toko Ekambi received a standing ovation from a place that was his home for the last two seasons, where he scored 25 goals. As was the case in previous friendlies, Javi calleja’s side controlled the possession of the ball, while the home side looked to do damage on the counterattack.
The first clear chance of the game fell to the locals and it was precisely a counterattack that led them to almost open the scoring. The French side attacked at speed down the left wing and finished with a shot across goal. It was no trouble for Andrés Fernández though, the Yellows goalkeeper pushing the ball wide for a corner kick.
In a first half with few goal scoring opportunities, the best chance for Villarreal fell to Enes Ünal just before the break. The Turkish forward got on the end of a brilliant pass forward by Santi Cazorla and strode towards the French goal. His shot was well placed over the goalkeeper but, unluckily, was kept out by the crossbar.
Angers SCO started the second half well and it was up to Andrés Fernández to deny the locals on two occasions to keep the score 0-0.
A quarter of an hour after the restart, Javi Calleja made eight substitutions and changed the formation to a 3-1-4-2. Despite these changes, the Yellows mission was the same as they continued to hunt down Butelle’s goal.
In the 71st minute, a powerful header by Gerard Moreno came close to breaking the deadlock. Then, Alfonso Pedraza tried his luck, but his effort was met with a fine save by Butelle. Javi Calleja’s side tried to beak through the French until the end, but they could not find a way.
Angers SCO: Butelle; Traoré, Bamba, Manceau, Thomas; Capelle, Fulgini, Mangani, Santamaría; Tait and Bahoken.
Also played: Michel, Andreu, Paulovic, Dore, Kanga, Ketkeo, Aït Noun, Cissé, Bertrand, Manzala and Reine.
Villarreal CF: Andrés Fernández; Miguelón, Mario, Víctor Ruiz, Jaume Costa; N’Diaye, Morlanes, Layún, Cazorla; Ünal and Toko Ekambi.
Also played: Álvaro, Funes Mori, Cáseres, Fornals, Castillejo, Pedraza, Gerard Moreno and Nahuel.
Referee: William Lavis (France).
Stadium: Raymond Kopa.