Villarreal picked up a well-earned win on their visit to Mendizorrotza (1-2). A superior Yellows side beat Deportivo Alavés thanks to a thrilling last-minute winner from former Academy player Fer Niño on his debut in the Spanish top flight. Carlos Bacca opened the scoring for the Submarine early on and Joselu equalised for the locals in the second half.
Villarreal set up at Mendizorrotza with a starting eleven featuring seven changes from the Submarine’s previous match against Girona in the Copa del Rey. To take on Alavés, Calleja went for Asenjo in goal; a back four made up of Mario, Albiol, Funes Mori and Alberto Moreno; Santi Cazorla, Manu Trigueros, Moi Gómez and Iborra in the middle of the park; and Chukwueze and Carlos Bacca up front.
The Submarine took control of the game from the first minute and pressed forward in earnest, while Alavés waited for the chance to counterattack. And that is exactly how the first clear chance of the game came about. Deportivo Alavés struck on the counter and the ball ended up in the back of the net, but was immediately ruled offside by the linesman.
Villarreal answered straight away and swiftly took the lead at Mendizorrotza. In the 10th minute, the Submarine opened the scoring through Carlos Bacca. Moi Gómez put in a fantastic cross from the left wing and Bacca fired a first-time shot past Pacheco. A play executed to perfection.
Sergio Asenjo made two outstanding saves to keep Alavés at bay in the first half, denying Joselu and then Aleix Vidal. At the other end, the Yellows came close to making it two. Superb combination play between Chukwueze, Cazorla and Trigueros saw the No.14 test Pacheco with a volley on the half turn from point-blank range, but the Alavés keeper was equal to it.
In the second half, the Yellows came out in search of a second goal to sentence the game. Samu Chukwueze came close to getting it as he went through one on one against Pacheco, but could not convert. Asenjo also stood tall again to deny Aleix Vidal and Manu García with two sublime saves.
In the 79th minute Alavés equalised. Joselu got on the end of a good pass into space from Lucas Pérez to beat Asenjo.
Despite the blow, the Yellow Submarine did not let up. Javi Calleja made a final substitution and opted to throw youngster Fer Niño into the action, to make his debut in LaLiga. Then, just two minutes after coming on and with his first touch of the ball in the top flight, the young striker scored an unforgettable goal. The Yellows No.34 controlled an inch-perfect pass forward from Trigueros and smashed the ball into the top corner of Pacheco’s net. An unbeatable debut. The youngster gave a deserving Villarreal all three points.
Deportivo Alavés: Pacheco; Martín (Burke, m. 94), Laguardia, Ely, Duarte; Aleix Vidal (Burgui, m. 73), Manu, Camarasa, Luis Rioja (Borja, m. 59); Joselu and Lucas.
Villarreal CF: S. Asenjo; Mario Gaspar, R. Albiol, Funes Mori, Alberto M. (Quintillà, m. 34); Iborra, M. Trigueros, S. Cazorla (Anguissa, m. 64); Moi Gómez; Chukwueze and Bacca (Fer Niño, m. 87).
Goals: 0-1. Min. 10: Bacca. 1-1. Min. 79: Joselu. 1-2. Min. 89: Fer Niño.
Referee: Munuera Montero. Booked: Ely and Duarte for Alavés; Quintillà for Villarreal.
Information: Match between Deportivo Alavés and Villarreal CF corresponding to LaLiga 2019/20 Matchday 21 celebrated at Mendizorrotza in front of 18,153 spectators.