PHOTO: Vicente Iborra started alongside Manu Trigueros in midfield.

A draw in an exciting encounter (1-1)

20 / 01 / 2019

Villarreal draw against Athletic Club at the Estadio de la Cerámica with a goal by Toko Ekambi

Villarreal drew against Athletic Club in an exciting match, in which they had a lot to play for, one that finished in a 1-1 draw after an own goal by Jaume Costa and an equaliser from Karl Toko Ekambi.

Luis García set up with a 4-2-3-1. Manu Trigueros and Vicente Iborra were given control of the midfield, while Toko Ekambi was put out on the right wing.

The first half was very even, with few clear chances on goal. In fact, Athletic Club took the lead through an own goal. Yuri Berchiche got free down the left wing and sent in a driven ball that Costa, in his attempt to clear, put into the back of his own net (0-1, m. 18). The epitome of bad luck.

The Yellow Submarine unsuccessfully tried to draw level in the first half, against an Athletic defence that was set up well. García made changes in the second half, looking for a reaction. Samu Chukwueze and Alfonso Pedraza came on in the 57th minute.

It was Pedraza who was the main man in the goal that made it 1-1. The Yellows No.16 got the ball on the left wing, played a low cross into the box and Toko Ekambi at full stretch sent the ball into the back of the net.

The last minutes were not ideal for the heart. Villarreal pushed everything they had to try and get the goal to get three points, while Athletic were more than dangerous on the counter attack. Neither side could make the breakthrough, and both teams shared the point at the Estadio de la Cerámica.

Next up for Villarreal is a trip to Mestalla to face Valencia on Saturday (8:45pm CET).

Lineups:

Villarreal CF: Asenjo; Mario Gaspar, Álvaro, Funes Mori, Jaume Costa (Pedraza, m. 57); Iborra, Trigueros; Toko Ekambi, Fornals (Chukwueze, m. 57), Cazorla, Gerard (Bacca, m. 65).

Athletic Club: Herrerín; Capa, Yeray, Íñigo Martínez, Yuri; Dani García, Beñat (San José, m. 71); Ibai (De Marcos, m. 75), Muniain, Córdoba; Williams (Guruzeta, m. 92).

Goals: 0-1. Min. 18: Jaume Costa, OG. 1-1. Min. 70: Toko Ekambi.

Referee: Undiano Mallenco. Booked: Funes Mori, Iborra, Mario Gaspar, Álvaro (Villarreal); Beñat (Athletic Club).

Matchday information: LaLiga Matchday 20 at the Estadio de la Cerámica in front of an attendance of 17,054.

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