A crazy draw to start LaLiga. Villarreal drew against Granada at the Estadio de la Cerámica in a match where the Yellows were ahead for a long time, but the away side were able to rescue a point after two set pieces.
Javi Calleja lined up his side with a 4-2-3-1 for the first league match of the season with André-Frank Zambo Anguissa and an omnipresent Santi Cazorla at the base of the midfield.
The away side pressured during the first few minutes, making Andrés Fernández pull off a great save from Antonio Puertas. Slowly, Villarreal started to grow into the game. Cazorla tried with an effort from the edge of the area that the defence repelled.
With half an hour on the clock, it was 1-0. Moi Gómez was fouled in the box by Domingos Duarte and Cazorla stepped up to take the spot-kick. The midfielder tricked Rui Silva and scored Villarreal's first official goal of the season with class.
When it seemed that the Yellows would go into half time, the match's controversial point arrived. Referee Cordero Vega pointed to the penalty spot after a coming together between Raúl Albiol and Roberto Soldado. There was nothing there, but Fede Vico made it 1-1 with five minutes of added time already gone in the first half.
The injustice made Villarreal desperate to score, and they started the second half like a train. The goal to make it 2-1 came soon after the break. Cazorla played it to the left, Xavi Quintilla cut it back and Gómez placed it home with the inside of his right boot (m.52).
Granada replied, making it 2-2. A cross from the right ended up going past Fernández after both Darwin Machís and Rubén Peña went for the ball (m.61).
Only three minutes later, Villarreal struck again. Gerard Moreno made it 3-2 with his left foot after a brilliant Gómez assist. It was a spectacular piece of play from the midfielder, with the striker doing what he does best, score.
Soon after, Samu Chukwueze made it 4-2. Cazorla stole the ball int he middle, played it to the Nigerian, and Villarreal's No.11 was lethal. His effort into the bottom corner was perfect, out of Rui Silva's reach (m.72).
When the match seemed over, Soldado brought it back to life. The ex-Villarreal forward headed a corner home to make it 4-3 with 74 minutes gone. Madness.
The equaliser to make it 4-4 came from Puertas from another corner, headed home by Granada's No.10 (m.80).
Villarreal come away with a point from their 2019/20 league debut. Next up is Levante UD at the Ciutat de València (Friday, 10pm CEST).
Villarreal CF: Andrés Fernández; Rubén Peña, Albiol, Pau, Quintillà; Anguissa, Cazorla; Chukwueze, Iborra (Bacca, m. 83), Moi Gómez (Trigueros, m. 77); Gerard (Toko Ekambi, m. 68).
Granada CF: Rui Silva; Víctor Díaz, Germán, Domingos Duarte, Quini; Yan Eteki (Azeez, m. 68), Montoro; Antonio Puertas, F. Vico (Ramos, m. 77), Vadillo (Machís, m. 56); Soldado.
Goals: 1-0. Min. 33: Cazorla, penalty. 1-1. 45+5: F. Vico, penalty. 2-1. Min. 52: Moi Gómez. 2-2. Min. 61: Machís. 3-2. Min. 64: Gerard. 4-2. Min. 72: Chukwueze. 4-3. Min. 74: Soldado. 4-4. Min. 80: Puertas.
Referee: Cordero Vega. Booked: Albiol, Cazorla, Anguissa (Villarreal); Germán (Granada).
Incidencias: Match corresponding to the opener of LaLiga for Villarreal at the Estadio de la Cerámica in front of an attendance of 14,753.