Villarreal drew with Levante at the Estadio de la Cerámica in a tie where the Yellows were unable to make the most of a number of goalscoring chances. The away team went ahead on the scoreboard thanks to an own goal from Ramiro Funes Mori, but in added time, Alfonso Pedraza rescued a point foe the Yellows with a powerful shot from his left boot. (1-1)
Javi Calleja lined up with a 4-4-2 with Gerard Moreno and Karl Toko Ekambi as the two men up front. Samu Chukwueze made his first start in the league (he had already played in the UEFA Europa League and the Copa del Rey). The Nigerian winger was a thorn in the side of the organised Levante defence throughout the game.
The first half was tight, with not much in between the two sides. Villarreal saw more of the game, while Levante waited, looking to launch a counter-attack that would see them take the lead. They were close to scoring through a header from Roger after a free-kick, but Sergio Asenjo was aware of the threat to keep the ball out on the goal-line.
The Yellow Submarine carried on trying to score, with a number of shots that did not find the target.
In the second half Villarreal had their chances, but none of them ended up in the back of the net. Samu Chukwueze showed his great form once again with up to three clear goal scoring chances. Gerard also had a chance to break the deadlock for the Yellows, but he miscontrolled Toko Ekambi’s killer pass across the face of the goal when he was one on one with the keeper. Pablo Fornals came close to scoring after a driven ball came in from the left, but the No.8’s effort hit the woodwork.
Levante did hit the target though. A moment of bad luck struck the Yellows in the play that led to the game’s opening goal. José Morales’ cross from the left wing was turned into his own net by Funes Mori in his attempt to stop Borja Mayoral from getting on the end of it (0-1, m. 76).
Villarreal gave it their all until the end and managed to equalise in the final moments. Pedraza hit a bullet of a shot into the roof of the net with almost no angle to work with. The ball made Oier’s net bulge and gave the Yellows a point (1-1, m. 92).
The next game for the Yellows will be in the UEFA Europa League against Rapid Vienna in Austria (Thursday, 6:55pm CET).
Villarreal CF: Asenjo; M. Llambrich, Álvaro, Funes Mori, Jaume Costa (Sansone, m. 80); Chukwueze, Cáseres, Trigueros (Pedraza, m. 74), Fornals; Toko Ekambi, Gerard (Cazorla, m. 64).
Levante UD: Oier; Rober Pier, Postigo, Chema; Jason, Rochina (Prcic, m. 71), Campaña (Doukouré, m. 84), Bardhi, Toño; Roger (Borja Mayoral, m. 60), Morales.
Goals: 0-1. Min. 76: Funes Mori, own goal. 1-1. Min. 92: Pedraza.
Referee: Del Cerro Grande. Booked: Jaume Costa, Cáseres, Álvaro (Villarreal CF); Jason, Rochina (Levante UD).
Matchday information: Match corresponding to matchday 11 of LaLiga at the Estadio de la Cerámica in front of an attendance of 16,499.