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Starting pre-season with a defeat
Starting pre-season with a defeat

Villarreal lose late on against Valencia by the smallest of margins in the first game of pre-season at the Oliva Nova resort

Villarreal lost their first game of the 2021/22 pre-season against Valencia CF (3-2) at the Oliva Nova in the baking heat. For the first test of the summer, Unai Emery lined up with the following starting XI: Rulli; R. Peña, Mandi, Funes Mori, Alberto M; Yeremy, Capoue; Trigueros, Ontiveros; Dani Raba, Fer Niño.

It was Fer Niño who had the first chance of the game, heading a ball by Javi Ontiveros over the box. It was the winger who had another opportunity to open the scoring in the first half, with a shot from outside of the box that went just wide.

Another of the most dangerous chances for the Yellows came from Rubén Peña, whose powerful shot from the edge of the area was stopped by the Valencia goalkeeper, who had reacted well minutes before to stop a deflection going in. The opener ended up coming just before half-time. Peña, who was really involved down the right, cut inside and beat his defender, before shooting with his left-foot. That effort hit the post. Alberto Moreno was first to the rebound, firing a low, powerful shot past Jasper Cillessen.

After the half-time interval, the Yellows lined up with a completely different team: Filip; Mario Gaspar, Foyth, Cuenca, Pedraza; Hassan, Parejo, Morlanes, Moi Gómez; A. Millán, Paco Alcácer. Jorge Cuenca scored the second of the game, volleying home spectacularly after a Paco Alcácer flick in the box.

However, just a minute later, Manu Vallejo got one back for Valencia, with a low effort that went just inside Filip Jorgensen’s post. Late on, it was Vallejo who got the equaliser from the penalty spot, after the referee spotted a handball in the box from a corner. In the last minute of the game, Denis Cheryshev got on the end of a Jason cross and scored Valencia’s third to complete their comeback.

Villarreal will play their next pre-season friendly on Thursday 22nd July at 8pm CEST against Olympique Lyonnais at the Pinatar Arena.


Valencia CF: Cillessen; Thierry Correia, Alderete, G. Paulista, J. Vázquez; Hugo Guillamón, Musah, Racic; Fran Pérez, Diego López, Rubén Sobrino. Also played: Diakhaby, Cheryshev, Manu Vallejo, Piccini, Jorge Saenz, Adri Gómez, G, Molina, Jason, A. Marí.

Villarreal CF: Rulli; Rubén Peña, Mandi, Funes Mori, Alberto Moreno; Capoue, Trigueros; Yeremy, Dani Raba, Ontiveros; Fer Niño. Also played: Filip, Mario Gaspar, Foyth, Jorge Cuenca, Pedraza, Parejo, Morlanes, A. Millán, Moi Gómez, Hassan, Paco Alcácer.

Goals:: 0-1. Min. 45: Alberto Moreno. 0-2. Min. 67: Jorge Cuenca. 1-2. Min. 68: Manu Vallejo. 2-2. Min. 86: Manu Vallejo. 3-2. Min. 90: Cheryshev.

Referee: Juan Manuel Gordillo Escamilla. Booked: Cuenca (Villarreal CF); Guillamón, Alderete (Valencia CF)

Stadium: Oliva Nova Sports Centre.