Villarreal went ahead at Craven Cottage thanks to Parejo’s goal, but Mitrovic levelled the tie
Villarreal continue their good run of results in pre-season and now have four wins and two draws from this summer’s friendlies. The Yellows went ahead with a great Dani Parejo goal, but Aleksandar Mitrovic managed to bring the tie level late on.
Craven Cottage was a beautiful stadium to host a game with a great atmosphere, and the public were fully behind their team in their last friendly before the start of the Premier League. Unai Emery lined up with a completely different starting XI from yesterday’s win against Southampton to give players who played more minutes during the first match of the trip to England.
Fulham went for it from the first minute and De Cordova Reid caused danger with a shot from the edge of the box that went just past the post of the goal defended by Gero Rulli, who looked good whenever he had to be involved. However, Villarreal tried to cause danger throughout, getting close to the area but struggling to create clear chances in the first half. Samu Chukwueze tried to get behind the defence on a number of occasions, but struggled thanks to the organization of the Whites at the back.
The Yellows’ insistence paid off with half an hour on the clock. Coquelin played a through ball to Chukwueze and after a cross from the Nigerian, José Luis Morales laid the ball off to Parejo, who volleyed the ball with his weaker foot into the back of the next to score a great goal and open the scoring at Craven Cottage.
At the start of the second half, the midfielder also went close, with a shot from outside the box going just over Marek Rodak’s bar. The Submarine had taken control of play, but Fulham didn’t give up and Mitrovic hit the bar practically with an open goal in front of him after an Andreas Pereira chance.
Nicolas Jackson, who came on in the second half, went one on one with the goalkeeper, but his shot went just wide. The Senegalese striker caused problems for Fulham in defence with his quick transitions, and in a similar piece of play, he laid it off to Yeremy, who was also unable to hit the target.
Villarreal dominated the second half, but Mitrovic, with a first-time effort, was able to level the match with four minutes left. The Submarine returned from England with a win and a draw after an intense weekend of football.
Fulham FC: Rodak; K. Tete (m. 84, Cairney), Adarabioyo, Ream, Robinson; A. Pereira (m. 84, Mbabu), Reed, De Cordova-Reid, Palhinha (m. 70, Harris), Kebano (m. 61, Stansfield); Mitrovic.
Villarreal CF: Rulli; Foyth (m. 76, Kiko F.), R. Albiol, J. Cuenca, Estupiñán (m. 76, A. Pedraza); Coquelin (m. 67, Capoue), Carlo (m. 67, M. Morlanes), Parejo (m. 67, Álex B.); Chukwueze (m. 67, Yeremy), J.L. Morales (m. 46, N. Jackson); Dia (m. 46, Fer Niño / m. 76, Gerard).
Goals: 0-1. Min. 34: Parejo. 1-1. Min. 86: Mitrovic.
Referee: John Brooks. Booked: Kebano & Mitrovic (Fulham); Foyth and R. Albiol (Villarreal).
Matchday information: Pre-season friendly between Fulham FC and Villarreal CF at Craven Cottage.