Villarreal deserve more at Mestalla
Villarreal deserve more at Mestalla

The Yellows lose by the smallest of margins in a tight game against Valencia (2-1)

Villarreal lost against Valencia (2-1) in a hard-fought tie where the Yellows looked good and deserved a better result. The goals from Rodrigo Moreno and Ferran Torres gave the home side victory at Mestalla. The Yellow Submarine’s goal came from André-Frank Zambo Anguissa.

The Yellows arrived at Mestalla keen on getting three points in a tough Valencian derby. The last-minute absence of Santi Cazorla due to injury altered Javi Calleja’s plans, who lined up with a starting XI which had not previously played together, which Manu Morlanes starting his first game of the season, playing alongside Anguissa and Manu Trigueros in the middle.

Villarreal started the match promisingly. After various approaches to the home box, in the 13th minute, an impressive piece of action down the left flank ended in a penalty for the Yellow Submarine.

Gerard Moreno was brought down by Eliaquim Mangala after getting on the end of a Moi Gómez pass in the heart of the area. The Catalan forward got up and took the spot-kick, but was denied by Jasper Cillessen.

Despite not scoring from the spot, the Yellows persisted with their attempts to go ahead on the scoreboard. Villarreal took the initiative and were playing well at Mestalla. Calleja’s players dominated the centre of the pitch.

With half an hour on the clock, Valencia had their first real chance on goal. Rodrigo got on the end of a Ferran pass and beat Sergio Asenjo, with a goal ruled out for offside.

As the minutes passed, the tie opened up and Valencia, started to grow into the match. In the 35th minute, Asenjo made two crucial interventions with the home side threatening. 

With the second half only just underway, Valencia went ahead through Rodrigo. The forward controlled a pass into space from Maxi Gómez, going round Asenjo with a touch in the area, before playing it into the back of the net.

Villarreal did not take long in responding, equalising just five minutes later. Anguissa won the ball back in his own half, and launched a quick counter. The Cameroonian midfielder hit a powerful right-footed shot from just inside the area to beat Cillessen and open his scoring for the Yellows.

The away side could have taken the lead in the 63rd minute. Samu Chukwueze nearly scored their second with a header that went millimetres wide. Just five minutes later, Moi Gómez, with a dangerous effort, tried to get the second.

When Villarreal were at their most comfortable in the second half, Valencia found the back of the net again. Ferran put the home side ahead, harshly punishing Calleja’s side.

Despite the home side’s goal, the Yellows did not give up. Carlos Bacca, in the 83rd minute after just coming on, headed a cross from the left just wide. The Submarine pushed for the equaliser, going close until the very end, but Calleja’s side were unable to score, with Valencia coming away with the victory.


Valencia CF: Cillessen; Wass, Mangala, Gabriel Paulista, Gayá; Ferran, Parejo, Coquelin (Esquerdo, m. 82), Soler; Rodrigo (Sobrino, m. 85), Maxi Gómez (Gameiro, m. 69).

Villarreal CF: S. Asenjo; Mario Gaspar, R. Albiol, Pau, Quintillà; Anguissa, M. Trigueros, Morlanes (J. Ontiveros, m. 73), Moi Gómez (Bacca, m. 79); Toko Ekambi (Chukwueze, m. 62), Gerard.

Goals: 1-0. Min. 48: Rodrigo. 1-1. Min. 53: Zambo Anguissa. 2-1. Min. 70: Ferran.

Referee: Soto Grado. Booked: Parejo (Valencia); R. Albiol, Gerard (Villarreal).

Matchday information: Game between Valencia CF and Villarreal CF corresponding to LaLiga Matchday 15 in front of 38,521 spectators.