Villarreal win in a crazy match (4-2)
Villarreal win in a crazy match (4-2)

The Yellows return to winning ways after an impressive comeback against RCD Espanyol

The Yellows return to winning ways after an impressive comeback against RCD Espanyol

Villarreal did not lose faith (4-2). The Submarine took the win in a match in which they overcame misfortune and came from behind to beat a wounded Espanyol side. A brace from Étienne Capoue, a goal from Dani Parejo and another from Nico Jackson gave them three important points to take fifth place and further cement their place in the European battle.

The Yellows side arrived at La Cerámica hungry for a win after two consecutive defeats in LaLiga against Real Valladolid (1-2) and Sevilla FC (2-1). Quique Setién’s side were back in front of their home fans to welcome an Espanyol side in need and immersed in the relegation zone.

The Submarine came onto the pitch with momentum and the aim to strike first and take an early lead. Samu Chukwueze and Gio Lo Celso could have made it 1-0 at La Cerámica before the quarter of an hour mark. Shortly afterwards, Capoue was back on the attack and, after receiving a pass into space from Lo Celso, he missed a one-on-one with Pacheco.

The Submarine were comfortable on the pitch. They were dominant in an open game, in which the Catalans were sitting deep at the back, waiting for a counter-attack to hurt Quique Setién’s side.

The final minutes of the first half saw a flurry of chances for Villarreal. Yeremy tested the reflexes of Pacheco on two occasions, who kept him out two big interventions. Chukwueze also tried his luck.

Villarreal had already made a lot of chances, while Espanyol struck with forcefulness and with little warning. Espanyol took the lead with a lot of controversy. Puado shot inside the area after taking advantage of a positional offside by Montes, which prevented Foyth from blocking the shot. Incomprehensibly, Soto Grado, after receiving the indications of the VAR, gave the goal as legal to the monumental anger of the Estadio de la Cerámica. The game went in at half-time at 0-1.

Behind on the scoreboard, Villarreal came out in the second half and found the goal after the restart. A Capoue missile from the edge of the area brought the equaliser and woke up the La Cerámica crowd.

With the score at 1-1, the Submarine did not take their foot off the accelerator. They continued to suffocate Espanyol. In the midst of the home side’s onslaught, Montes stopped Lo Celso’s shot on goal with his arm. It was a penalty. And with suspense, after missing the spot-kick, Parejo converted the rebound. The score was 2-1, and the fans were on their team’s side.

Just when Villarreal were at their best, they were dealt a blow in the form of a goal for the visitors. A slip by Pau in his own half left the home side at the mercy of their opponents. Joselu made it 2-2 after receiving a pass from Braithwaite.

The setback in the form of an equaliser did not discourage Setién’s side, who hit back with a strike from Nico Jackson. The Senegalese striker ran into space and controlled the ball in the box. With a fine slalom, he rounded his pair and beat Pacheco with a shot inside the near post. Villarreal were back in front: 3-2.

In stoppage time, the Submarine put the game to bed with a goal finished by Capoue from a corner. With the win, the Yellows took three golden points, which put them, with 50, in fifth place.


Villarreal CF: Reina; Foyth, Mandi, Pau, Alberto M. (A. Pedraza, m. 90); Capoue, Parejo, Lo Celso (R. Terrats, m. 90+3); Chukwueze, N. Jackson (Álex B., m. 90+3), Yeremy.

RCD Espanyol: Pacheco; Óscar Gil, C. Montes, Calero (Simo, m. 75), Vini De Souza (A. Pedrosa, m. 85), K. Bare (Edu Expósito, m. 67), Darder; Braithwaite, Joselu, Puado (Nico M. R., m. 85).

Goals: 0-1. Min. 44: Puado. 1-1. Min. 54: Capoue. 2-1. Min. 63: Parejo. 2-2. Min. 73: Joselu. 3-2. Min. 80: N. Jackson. 4-2. Min. 90+2: Capoue.

Referee: Soto Grado. Booked: N. Jackson, Yeremy (Villarreal); Calero, Puado, Montes, Óscar Gil. Sent off: Edu Exposito (Espanyol, 90’+5’).

Matchday information: Match between Villarreal CF and RCD Espanyol, corresponding to Gameweek 31 of the 2022/23 LaLiga Santander, at the Estadio de la Cerámica. Attendance: 16,134.