Villarreal lose against Espanyol
Villarreal lose against Espanyol
LALIGA

The Submarine bid farewell to this season’s Copa del Rey in the return leg of the last 16 (3-1)

It wasn’t to be. Villarreal lost against RCD Espanyol in the second leg of the Round of 16 of the Copa del Rey which sees the Yellows knocked out of the tournament (3-1). The first leg, played at the Estadio de la Cerámica, finished in a 2-2 draw.

Luis García opted for a starting eleven with quite a few new faces. The most surprising of these was a first-team debut for Pepe Castaño, who played alongside Bonera at centre back, with the Italian wearing the captain’s armband.

The opening minutes saw few clear chances on goal. The first of those was for the Submarine. Andrés played a long ball forward, Raba brought it down and kept possession and laid it off to Pedraza, but he pulled his shot wide.

Just after half an hour of play Espanyol scored twice, both goals from the penalty spot. Firstly, it was youngster Pepe Castaño who brought down Borja Iglesias and Piatti converted from the spot (1-0, m. 33). Just three minutes later Layún fouled Puado near the byline and the referee awarded another penalty. This time Borja Iglesias stepped up to make it two for the home side (2-0, m. 37). Two penalties in four minutes.

Villarreal responded immediately with a fantastic goal from Samu Chukwueze. The Nigerian forward received the ball out on the right wing, cut inside with his left foot and let rip a superb strike that made the net bulge at the far post (2-1, m. 41).

Villarreal grew as the game went on and in the second half goal scoring opportunities did not take long to come. Layún’s strike hit the crossbar, then moments later Pedraza caused danger down the left flank but nobody could get on the end of his cross just a metre from the goal line.

Espanyol extended their lead from a set piece. Piatti played the ball in from a corner and Borja Iglesias netted at the far post (3-1, m. 73). In the final minutes, Iván Martín also made his debut for the first team, coming on in the 82nd minute to replace Pedraza.

The next, hugely important match for Villarreal is this Sunday at the Estadio de la Cerámica against Athletic Club (4:15pm CET).

Lineups:

RCD Espanyol: Roberto; Javi López, David López (Lluís López, m. 78), Naldo, Pedrosa (Dídac, m. 47); Darder, Álex López, Marc Roca; Puado (Melendo, m. 64), Borja Iglesias and Piatti.

Villarreal CF: Andrés; Miguelón, Pepe Castaño, Bonera, Layún; Cáseres (Trigueros, m. 75), Javi Fuego; Chukwueze, Raba, Pedraza (Iván Martín, m. 82); and Bacca (Gerard, m. 68).

Goals: 1-0. Min. 33: Piatti, de penalti. 2-0. Min. 37: Borja Iglesias, de penalti. 2-1. Min. 41: Chukwueze. 3-1. Min. 73: Borja Iglesias.

Referee: González Fuertes (C. Asturiano). Booked: Dídac for Espanyol; Cáseres, Bacca, Layún and Javi Fuego for Villarreal.

Match Information: Match corresponding to the return leg of the Round of 16 of the Copa del Rey played at the RCDE Stadium in front of 11,171 spectators.

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