Villarreal can only get 1 point despite being superior to Athletic most of the match
Villarreal ended up unrewarded in Athletic ‘s visit to El Madrigal (1-1 ) in a match where the Yellows were better during most part of the match, but couldn’t manage to secure the 3 points during the final stretch of the game after playing nearly half an hour with one player less. With this draw, the Yellows don’t cut distances to the Champions League spots, while maintaining a comfortable lead ahead of the the eighth place.
The Submarine started playing very intensely while Athletic tried their best to keep control. Villarreal totally outplayed Bilbao on ball possession while keeping an eye on defensive balance to avoid allowing any goal from behind.
Marcelino’s men combined the passing game at a great speed, but it was not until the 20th minute that the locals enjoyed a great occasion. Jokic from the baseline served a lovely center ball that Giovani and Uche didn’t manage to shoot on goal by just 2 or 3 inches. Two minutes later, Óliver tried his chances from the ourside with a hard shot but Iraizoz made a great save.
Ten minutes from the break, Giovani came very close to scoring with a spectacular free kick shot. There would be lots of emotions yet during the minutes that remained before half time. After a clear opportunity for the Athletic – Ander Herrera’s shot bounced off Musacchio and Asenjo had to make a great save to avoid the ball from entering the goal -, came a penalty for the visitors after a corner kick. Once again Asenjo kept the 0-0 with an extraordinary dive to stop Aduriz’s shot.
The second half started with the same electrifying pace as the first half had ended. The good news for the Submarine happened quite early. After stealing the ball in their field, the Yellows fastbreaked with Óliver winning the right side and assisted Pina who was unmarked at the second post, pushing the ball at an empty goal for the 1-0.
Marcelino’s men got a fair reward for their domination, but there was still half of the match ahead. An eternity. In the 65th minute came the first serious setback for the home side. In a jump with Aduriz, Gabriel got the second yellow card and was sent off with almost half an hour to go. The match was red hot: Athletic had taken the lead and dominated the ball, fighting to get the equalizer against Villarreal that was still strong despite playing with ten.
And just as the Submarine was holding on better, Athletic scored their goal. Iturraspe’s center pass was headed by Aduriz to the far post and set the final 1-1 on the scoreboard.
Villarreal CF: Asenjo; Mario, Musacchio, Gabriel, Jokic; Óliver Torres (Jaume Costa, 74’), Bruno, Pina, Cani (Aquino, 60’); Giovani and Uche (Pantic, 66’).
Athletic Club: Iraizoz; De Marcos (Iraola, 75’), Gurpegi, Laporte, Balenziaga; Iturraspe, Mikel Rico (Toquero, 71’); Susaeta, Ander Herrera (Beñat, 80’), Muniain; and Aduriz.
Goals: 1-0, min. 46: Pina. 1-1, min. 82: Aduriz.
Referee: González González (Castellano-Leonés Committee). He booked Jokic (30’) for Villarreal and Aduriz (31’), Gurpegi (35’) for Athletic Cub. He sent Gabriel off in the 65th minute after showing him 2 yellow cards.