A young Villarreal side stood up and were counted against Maccabi Tel-Aviv in the last match of the Group stage of the UEFA Europa League. The Yellows, with a side full of Reserve and Academy team players, put in a solid performance against the Israeli side and had a few chances, but in the end fell to the visitors after a goal by Blackman in the second half (0-1).
The Yellow Submarine had already qualified for the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 as leaders of Group A, which is why Javi Calleja put out a starting eleven that rewarded the great form of some of the Yellows Academy players. Seven Academy players made up the starting eleven to take on Maccabi Tel-Aviv. Eight, if you take into account Adrián Marín, who was formed at the Yellows Academy and is now part of the First Team squad.
The young Yellows put on a solid display from the 1st minute. Serious in defence, Villarreal aimed to play the ball around quickly and looked to surprise the Israeli side who had no chance to qualify for the next round of the competition.
With no clear chances in the first half, Villarreal would have to wait until the restart to a get a good view of the Maccabi goal. And the ball could not have fell better for Mario González in the 49th minute. Chuca played an inch perfect cross across the face of goal and the striker sent the ball over the bar from close range.
Maccabi Tel-Aviv took the lead in what was their first real chance. Blackman received a through ball and quickly got to the ball before Barbosa and struck it to the side of the keeper (0-1, min. 59).
Villarreal could have pulled one back in the final minutes. Mario González nodded the ball back to Darío Poveda, but the Yellow number 34’s first time shot went just high and wide of the mark. Unlucky.
The draw, Monday in Nyon
The draw for the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 will take place on Monday at 1pm CET in Nyon (live on beIN Sports).
Villarreal CF: Barbosa; Rukavina, Genís, Pau, Adrián Marín; Soriano (Pedrito, m. 62), Ramiro (Raba, m. 82), Chuca, Morlanes (Lozano, 76), Darío Poveda and Mario González.
Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC: Rajkovic; Shpungin, Babin, Tibi, Davidzada; Peretz, Golasa, Rikan (Battocchio, m. 82); Micha (Dasa, m. 71), Blackman (Atar, m. 89) and Schoenfeld.
Goal: 0-1. Min. 59: Blackman.
Referee: Mads-Kristoffer Kristoffersen (DEN). Cautioned: Peretz for Maccabi.
Match Information: Match corresponding to Matchday 6 of the Group stage of the UEFA Europa League played at the Estadio de la Cerámica in front of 12,613 spectators.