Pleasant draw between Celta and Villarreal in a match of fluctuations and with excellent footballers that ended with a draw that left a good taste in the mouth, against Villarreal because they have four games without losing and are preparing to see the rest of the day from a position of Champions League that not so long ago seemed far away, against Celta because they showed that they can compete with a rival of European stature and, above all, that they have the tools to turn around difficult matches.
Marchesín, Óscar Mingueza (Carles Perez, min. 54), Unai Núñez, Joseph Aidoo, Óscar Rodríguez (Jorgen Strand Larsen, min. 63), Fran Beltrán, Javi Galán, Hugo Mallo, Aspas, Franco Cervi (Luca De La Torre, min. 45) and Gabriel Veiga (Renato Tapia, min. 87)
Reina, Juan Foyth (Kiko Femenía, min. 64), Pau Torres, Mandi, Mojica, Parejo, Coquelin (Capoue, min. 64), Trigueros (Manu Morlanes, min. 77), Morales, Chukwueze (Yeremy Pino, min. 45) and Gerard Moreno
goals 0-1 min. 15: Gerard Moreno. 1-1 min. 68: Jorgen Strand Larsen.
Referee Javier Alberola Rojas
Yellow cards Trigueros (min. 25) and Morales (min. 67)
Impatience is the enemy of success and at Villarreal there is a coach who is trying to build something and who is also fortunate enough to recover an architect who has been out for a long time. Listing everything that Gerard Moreno brings to the team would be lengthy, but it can be summed up in one concept: clarity. And goal, obviously. In Balaídos he signed the one he put his team ahead of.
Villarreal took the field with the conviction typical of great teams and ended up flattened by the torrent of their rival. He handled the starting ball, took it from Celta and ruled the game on the outside with Chukwueze and Morales and on the inside through Parejo’s score. He pushed and generated from greed. A goal by Pau Torres went to limbo due to a previous offside by Mandi. The central defenders up and a warning for Celta, who did not take notice: a deficient delivery from Marchesin found the team in full swing and without resources to avoid Villarreal’s quick response. Gerard took the ball and, as the classics would point out, placed it on the iron, far from the stretch of the Argentine goal.
Celta’s reaction was great to the extent that their rival’s display was also magnificent. He raised the lines of the sky blue team, adjusted to the pressure and found the partnership formed between Iago Aspas and Gabri Veiga, who debuted with a well-deserved number from the first team. Coach Carlos Carvalhal’s plan was more solid without the ball than with him, or at least initially he did more damage in pressure than in proposition. Celta was able to tie in several doubtful ball outings in which the yellow box tied a knot.
Carvalhal must have appreciated options for improvement very soon. Halfway through the first half he had already stretched his bench, at half-time he gave De la Torre court for Cervi and eight minutes after the restart he changed the initial drawing of three central defenders by calling on Carles Pérez, a winger, to replace the defender Mingueza.
But among so many variants, Celta lost the thread. Villarreal applied again to play away from their goal. An attempt by Morales licked the crossbar and set off the alarms in Balaídos. There was Carvalhal, who did not stop manoeuvring: he withdrew Óscar Rodríguez from the field to give Larsen a new opportunity, the Norwegian giant who does everything well except the job that a striker is supposed to do, the goal. In 805 minutes of 12 league games he had not scored. Against Villarreal he did it as soon as he left, on the brink of offside he pointed at Reina after a pass from the inevitable Veiga, very fine.
The game had turned again. Villarreal suffered again. Gerard hadn’t had a dictation for a long time. The ball did not go through Parejo and if he did, he was surrounded by a light blue web. Reina saw a shot from De la Torre go by, without the option of even stretching. Larsen did not stop threatening in front of the goal, now that he had finally tasted it. Unai Núñez and Renato Tapia were able to score with headers. Even Hugo Mallo sought victory from above. Celta opposed the three points and deserved them, but they must continue looking down. “We have won a point. You have to take it for good ”, summarized Gerard Moreno.
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