Niño and Cazorla keep the cup dream going (0-2)
Niño and Cazorla keep the cup dream going (0-2)

Villarreal beat Rayo Vallecano and get their ticket for the Copa del Rey quarter-finals

Villarreal beat Rayo Vallecano to get through to the Copa del Rey quarter-finals. In a tight tie, the Yellows were competitive until the very end to get a big win at Vallecas, a result that allows the Submarine to continue dreaming of going far in the knockout tournament. Two late goals from Fer Niño and Santi Cazorla were the difference.

For the cup tie against Rayo Vallecano, Villarreal manager Javi Calleja picked a starting XI with a number of changes from the last league tie against Deportivo Alavés. Andrés Fernández lined up in goal. The back four was made up of Rubén Peña, Raúl Albiol, Ramiro Funes Mori and Xavi Quintillà, while Manu Morlanes, Manu Triguers and André-Frank Zambo Anguissa were part of a midfield three, with Moi Gómez and Javi Ontiveros behind Carlos Bacca in attack.

Before the tenth minute, Villarreal had the first chance of the game. Moi tried his luck with a long-range effort, which the goalkeeper needed two occasions to stop. The reply from the home side was immediate. Only a minute later, Mario Suárez’s shot from inside the area went wide.

Vilarreal took the initiative, while Rayo Vallecano were dangerous on the counter. In the 20th minute, Andrés Fernández saved the Yellows from going a goal behind with a fantastic stop. The goalkeeper was at his very best to keep out Andrés Martín’s effort.

The best chance for Villarreal in the first half fell to Ontiveros. The winger was unable to score after a quick transition by the Yellows. Moi won the ball in his own half, playing a great ball to Bacca, who after galloping forward, lifted his head and found Ontiveros, who could have put the Yellows ahead.

The equality in the first half continued in the second half. The ball didn’t fall properly for either of the two sides. Calleja looked to the bench, bringing on Niño and Cazorla for Bacca and Morlanes.

The changes rejuvenated Villarreal. In the 62nd minute, Quintillà had the ball in the back of the net, but it was ruled out for offside. The Catalan full-back got on the end of a great Ontiveros exist to beat Morro with a placed shot into the top corner. After checking VAR, the goal was ruled out by a matter of centimetres.

Getting into the 70th minute, the Yellows manager made the third change, bringing Samu Chukwueze onto the pitch. The Submarine pushed forward and they soon got their reward. In the 83rd minute, Villarreal broke the deadlock. Like in Vitoria, Niño scored a crucial goal for the Yellows. The forward got a crucial touch on a great Trigueros pass to send the ball into the back of the net. The Trigueros-Niño connection paid off once more.

Only a minute later, Cazorla killed off the tie with a great goal. The magnificent midfielder, who scored in the previous round against Girona, placed a majestic shot from the edge of the area, which went in off the post. The assist came from recently-introduced Chukwueze.

After the late goals, Villarreal came away with the win, sealing their passage into the quarter-finals of the cup. The Submarine will be among the best eight teams of the tournament and will know their next opponents on Friday 31st January at 1pm CET.


Rayo Vallecano: Morro; Tito, Martín Pascual, Antonio Milic, Saúl García; Mario Suárez (Trejo, m. 69), Isi Palazón, Óscar Valentín, Joni Montiel (Ulloa, m. 69), Álvaro (De Frutos, m. 76); Andrés Martín.

Villarreal CF: Andrés Fdez.; R. Peña, R. Albiol, Funes Mori, Quintillà; Morlanes (S. Cazorla, m. 58), M. Trigueros, Anguissa; Moi Gómez, J. Ontiveros (Chukwueze, m. 73), Bacca (Fer Niño, m. 58).

Goals: 0-1. Min. 83: Fer Niño. 0-2. Min. 84: S. Cazorla

Referee: Prieto Iglesias. Booked: Milic (Rayo Vallecano); Funes Mori, Cazorla (Villarreal).

Incidencias: Partido entre el Rayo Vallecano y el Villarreal CF correspondiente a los octavos de final de la Copa del Rey 2019/20 celebrado en el Estadio de Vallecas.