Villarreal earn a hard-earned point in a hard-fought match against RC Celta
Villarreal earned a hard-earned point against RC Celta at Balaídos after a 1-1 draw against the Galician side. Gerard Moreno gave the Yellows the lead in the 15th minute, while Larsen equalised in the 68th minute.
It was not going to be an easy game for the Submarine. Quique Setién travelled to Vigo with important absentees such as Gio Lo Celso, Alfonso Pedraza and Nico Jackson through injury and Raúl Albiol and Álex Baena through suspension, forcing the manager to reshuffle several pieces of the starting lineup. Two teams in very different situations faced each other on the Balaídos pitch. RC Celta de Vigo, in front of the fervour of their fans on the day that marked the start of the club’s centenary, were looking for three points that would take them away from the danger zone. The Submarine, for their part, were looking to make it three wins from three after the colossal victories over Valencia and Madrid that keep them right in the fight for the European places.
As in recent matches, Villarreal started the game at a high tempo. Subduing their opponents by pressing high up the pitch, the Submarine were to be the first to give a serious warning. In the ninth minute, Gerard Moreno put in a cross for Pau Torres at the far post to head into the back of the net. VAR, however, disallowed the yellow centre-back’s goal due to an unlawful position by Aïssa Mandi, who had previously hit the ball.
The visitors were in total control of possession in the early stages of the game and were increasingly threatening the goal defended by the Argentinian Marchesín. A long ball from the keeper looking for Vigo’s attackers was headed forward by Mandi, who gave the ball to Chukwueze and the Nigerian, as it came to him, passed first to Gerard who, after a perfect touch, controlled the ball with his left foot and hit it into the back of the net. Villarreal took the lead in the 15th minute.
Celta were able to recover from the Yellows’ goal and created some very dangerous moves. On two occasions Gabri Veiga had the equaliser in his boots, but he came up against an inspired Pepe Reina and a colossal Mandi.
Villarreal also had more chances before the end of the first half. In the 30th minute, Mojica slipped a perfect through ball to José Luis Morales who broke into space behind Hugo Mallo and, after reaching the byline, slipped a back pass that a Celta defender almost put into his own net.
Both teams went into the changing rooms with Villarreal leading at the break thanks to Gerard Moreno’s 15th-minute goal.
The second half started with the introduction of Yeremy Pino, who, against RC Celta, has reached his 100th game for the Yellows.
The Submarine came very close to breaking the deadlock on the hour mark. Gerard gave the ball to Morales who, close to the edge of the area, hit a great shot that crashed off the bar.
Setién continued to make changes. In the 65th minute, Coquelin and Foyth made way for Capoue and Kiko Femenía.
In the 68th minute Celta equalised. Veiga filtered a pass behind the yellow centre-backs that Larsen received inside the box and sent it into the back of the net.
Both teams tried their best in the last minutes of the game, but could not find the winning goal. The match between RC Celta and Villarreal CF ended in a 1-1 draw.
RC Celta: Marchesín; Hugo Mallo, Mingueza (min. 54, Carles Pérez), J. Aidoo, Unai Núñez, Javi Galán; Óscar (min. 64, Larsen), F. Beltrán, F. Cervi (min. 77, Luca); Gabri Veiga (min. 87, Tapia), Aspas.
Villarreal CF: Reina; Foyth [min. 65, Kiko F. (min. 69, J. Cuenca)], Mandi, Pau, J. Mojica; Coquelin (min. 65, Capoue), Parejo, M. Trigueros (min. 77, Morlanes); Chukwueze (min. 46, Yeremy), A. J. Morales, Gerard.
Goals: 0-1. Min 15: Gerard. 1-1. Min 68: Larsen.
Referee: Alberola Rojas.. Booked: M. Trigueros & A. J. Morales (Villarreal CF).
Matchday information: Match between RC Celta and Villarreal CF, corresponding to Gameweek 17 of the 2022/23 LaLiga Santander season at Balaídos.