A victorious opener in Europe! Villarreal beat Sivasspor (5-3) in a match full of goals. For the Submarine, Take, Bacca, Foyth and Paco Alcácer hit the back of the net, Alcácer demonstrating he's on a roll with a brace in the space of just four minutes.
For his side's debut game in Europe this season, Unai Emery opted for a starting eleven with plenty of changes in comparison to the league derby against Valencia CF (2-1). Only Albiol, Trigueros and Chukwueze started in both games at the Estadio de la Cerámica. The tie also gave three players their Villarreal debut, Gero Rulli, Juan Foyth and Yeremi Pino, as well as a first starting eleven appearance for Take Kubo.
Villarreal were superior to Sivasspor in the opening minutes. In the 12th minute, the Yellows opened the scoring through Take, who netted a rebound from a Chukwueze strike.
The match was a monologue and the first goal showed the home side’s dominance. Moments later Carlos Bacca made it two for Villarreal, his goalscoring instinct and a magnificent assist from Take the perfect combination for Villarreal to extend their lead.
Despite the Yellows’ dominance, Sivasspor were quick to pull one back. In the 33rd minute, the Turkish side made the most of a Villarreal defensive error to beat Rulli. The goal was scored by Kayode, who was very quick and made no mistake with the change he was given. Just minutes later, Bacca was brought down in the Sivasspor box by a strong challenge by Yalcin and awarded a penalty. The Colombian took the penalty himself but was met with a save by Samassa.
Just before the break, Sivasspor striker Yatabaré, who had tested Rulli moments earlier, equalised for the visitors. It was 2-2 at the break after what was an end to end first half.
Looking for more consistency in the middle of the park, Unai Emery put Vicente Iborra on at the start of the second half. He replaced Baena who made his debut in the European competition.
The second half started a bit slower than the first and Villarreal were more in control, but that calm feel only lasted for ten minutes. In the 56th minute, Foyth with sent a bullet of a header into the back of the net from a perfectly placed Take Kubo corner.
Just as they had done in the first half, Sivasspor managed to pull one back again. In the 63rd minute, Gradel made it 3-3 with an excellently executed free-kick.
Villarreal wanted to win and Unai threw Pedraza and Paco Alcácer into the mix to finish the job. The Yellows striker showed how on form he is by coming on and scoring two goals in the space of a few minutes. An absolute game changer. He got his first in the 73rd minute after converting a Chukwueve assist and his second minutes later after blasting home a great through ball from Juan Foyth. 5-3. Job done.
Villarreal CF: Rulli; Peña, Albiol, Foyth, Jaume Costa (Pedraza, m. 69); Trigueros (Moi Gómez, m. 57), Álex Baena (Iborra, m. 45), Coquelin (Yeremi, m. 78); Kubo, Chukwueze and Bacca (Alcácer, m. 69).
Sivasspor: Samassa; Ugur Çiftçi, Camara, Caner Osmanpasa, Yalcin; Cofie, Arslan (Claudemir, m. 79); Gradel (Oztekin, m. 82), Fajr, Yatabaré and Kayode (Koné, m. 81).
Goles: 1-0. Min. 12: Take. 2-0. Min. 19: Bacca. 2-1. Min. 32: Kayode. 2-2. Min. 42: Yatabaré. 3-2. Min. 56: Foyth. 3-3. Min. 63: Gardel. 4-3. Min. 73: Paco Alcácer. 5-3. Min. 77: Alcácer.
Referee: Pawel Raczkowski (Poland). Booked: Coquelin, Foyth and Pedraza for Villarreal; Yalcin, Gradel and Cofie for Sivasspor.
Information: Match corresponding to Matchday 1 of the UEFA Europa League group stages of Group I played at the Estadio de la Cerámica.