Alexander Sorloth unleashed madness with a stoppage-time goal to give Pacheta a heroic debut win
Alexander Sorloth brought La Cerámica to its feet. And he did it with a goal in extra time that decided the match in Villarreal’s favour. The Yellows overcame Almería (2-1) in the last minute to claim their first win at their home ground of the season.
Against Almería, Pacheta made his debut as Villarreal head coach. With this major new development and renewed enthusiasm, the Yellows were reunited with their fans after an irregular start to the season, which had prevented them from getting their first win at the Estadio de la Cerámica. The only win in four games came away from home, in Mallorca (0-1), thanks to a lone goal from Gerard Morneo.
Under Pacheta, Villarreal changed their formation, switching to a recognisable 4-4-2 formation. The Submarine dominated the game in the early stages. In front of them, Almeria were waiting for their chance to come out fast on the counter-attack to surprise the home side. On the yellows’ side, there was energy and will, but they lacked accuracy and precision in their build-up play.
A minute before half-time, Akieme gave Almería the lead at La Ceramica. The Andalusian defender made a run behind the defence and, after receiving a pass into space from Robertone, beat Jorgensen in a one-on-one situation.
Villarreal’s reaction was not long in coming and they equalised immediately afterwards. Gerard made it 1-1 after collecting a ball touched by Baena and set up Carlos Romero from the left.
The second half started with equality in the game. The first chance went to Almeria. Jorgensen made a fantastic save to keep out Robertone’s hard shot from the edge of the area. From the 70th minute onwards, the game broke up and both teams looked for the win at La Cerámica. Filip Jorgensen pulled off an impressive one-on-one save from Lopy, who was brought on to attack on a counter-attack. As the minutes ticked by, Villarreal took steps forward in search of the win. And they found it. And find it they did. In the dying seconds, Alexander Sorloth sent La Ceramica wild with an unassailable header that ended up in the back of the net.
Villarreal CF: Jorgensen; Foyth, R. Albiol, Gabbia (J. Cuenca, m. 85), C. Romero (Alberto M., m. 62); Yeremy, Capoue (Santi C. V., m. 63), Parejo, Álex B. (I. Akhomach, m. 73); Gerard (Brereton Díaz, m. 85), Sorloth.
UD Almería: Maximiano; Chumi, C. Montes, Edgar, Akieme; Arribas (L. Baptistao, m. 87), Lopy, Robertone (Baba, m. 75), Embarba (Ramazani, m. 66); Melero (Arnau Puigmal, m. 75), Luis Suárez (I. Koné, m. 87).
Goals: 0-1. Min. 44: Akieme. 1-1. Min. 45+5: Gerard. 2-1. Min 90+4: Sorloth.
Referee: Hernández Maeso. Booked: Capoue & Yeremy (Villarreal CF); Embarba, Chumi & Arnau Puigmal (Almería).
Matchday information: Match between Villarreal and UD Almería, corresponding to Matchday 5 of the 2023/24 LALIGA EA Sports season, at the Estadio de la Cerámica. Attendance: 18,467.