Villarreal drew against Athletic Club in a match where they had clear goalscoring chances
Villarreal drew against Athletic Club at the Estadio de la Cerámica (0-0) in a match where the Yellows had enough clear goalscoring chances to have come away with the three points. Unai Simón, the goalkeeper for the side from Bilbao, put in a great performance, much to the frustration of the home team.
This 0-0 result means that Villarreal have ended their run of scoring in consecutive matches, a run which ended at 24 matches in a row in which the Yellows had scored.
Javi Calleja once more stuck with the same shape that has been doing so well for the Yellows in this start of the season. Gerard Moreno was on the wing, with Moi Gómez, Santi Cazorla, André-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Vicente Iborra taking charge of feeding the attack.
The Yellows started strongly. In the sixth minute, they could have scored after a corner, which ended with Moi being denied by Simón.
With a quarter of an hour on the clock, there was controversy. Yuri touched the ball with his hand when he was on the line of the box. Referee Jaime Latre did not believe it was a penalty, and VAR did not overturn his decision.
Villarreal were at their best in the first half around those moments. Only seconds later, Cazorla’s potent right-footed effort was kept out by Simón’s gloves.
Calleja’s team carried on trying relentlessly in the second half, making the Athletic keeper the man of the match. He deserves special mention for the fantastic save he made at point-blank range from Gerard. The Yellows No.7 received the ball in the box, shot dangerously and Simón stopped it with… his face! Incredible.
Calleja looked to the bench. Samu Chukwueze came on as the Yellows tried to turn the match in their favour. Soon after the substitution, he was in the middle of the action, receiving a long-ball from Sergio Asenjo, facing various defenders and playing the ball back to the oncoming Cazorla at the edge of the box. His fantastic effort whistled past the post.
Villarreal continued pushing, but Athletic were dangerous on the counter. Raúl Albiol could have scored with a header, but Simón once more was there to keep the Yellows out. Unbelievable.
At the end of the game, the points were shared, but there was a bittersweet taste for the Yellows, who deserved more. Next up is a trip to RCD Mallorca (Sunday, 12pm CEST).
Villarreal CF: Asenjo; Peña, Albiol, Pau, Quintillà; Cazorla, Anguissa (Ontiveros, m. 80), Iborra, Moi Gómez (Chukwueze, m. 62); Toko Ekambi (Bacca, m. 67), Gerard.
Athletic Club: Unai Simón; Capa, Yeray, Íñigo Martínez, Yuri; San José (Vesga, m. 65), Dani García; Ibai Gómez (Córdoba, m. 73), Raúl García, Muniain (Larra, m. 85); Williams.
Referee: Jaime Latre. Booked: Iborra, Ontiveros (Villarreal).
Matchday information: Match corresponding to LaLiga Matchday 12 at the Estadio de la Cerámica in front of 17,460 spectators.