The famous Alfredo Di Stefano once said: “Finals aren’t played, they’re won”. And that is precisely what Villarreal did against Getafe this evening. It was difficult for the Yellows to play their attractive style, but Calleja’s men knew what to do to make sure they came away with three hugely important points in their fight for European spots. Villarreal’s goals were scored by Santi Cazorla (2), both from the penalty spot, and Rubén peña. Hugo Duro scored for Getafe.
With only one out and out-and-out centre forward available in the first team squad as Paco Alcácer and Bacca are injured, Javi Calleja chose to set up with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Ontiveros, Cazorla and Chukwueze behind Gerard Moreno in attack. On the bench, Academy youngster Fer Niño was waiting in the wings.
The home side went with a very similar system, to not say identical. With lots of players in the middle of the park, it was a hard fought battle in the centre in the first half, with lots of fouls and even a possible red card for the left back that wasn’t given. It was in the 6th minute when Olivera cleared the ball and subsequently made contact with Anguissa’s leg with his studs in what was a very dangerous challenge. Neither the referee nor VAR deemed it worthy of a red card.
Emotions and nerves were running high as if it were a final. It was difficult to link up plays and there were very few clear goalscoring opportunities. The best chance for the Submarine in the first half was courtesy of Ontiveros. The winger’s dipping strike from the edge of the box fell just wide of the woodwork startling David Soria.
The second half was just as uncomfortable. Villarreal managed to take the lead in the 65th minute from the penalty spot. Cazorla played through ball to Moi Gómez and the Yellows midfielder knocked the ball past David Soria who then brought him down in the box. Penalty. The Yellows no.8 stepped up and scored the opener to make it 0-1, sending Soria the wrong way. Cazorla has scored 8 penalties in the league this season.
Getafe equalised in the 79th minute. Hugo Duro heded the ball into the back of the net from a cross in open play. Moi Gómez fell down in the area after an incident with Portillo and Estrada Fernández and, after consulting VAR, a second penalty was given. Once again, captain Cazorla took on the responsibility and made no mistake from the spot (1-2, m. 85).
The game was sentenced and the Yellows were able to celebrate in injury time, when Gerard Moreno sent in a driven cross that was converted by Rubén Peña with conviction (1-3, m. 92). Great stuff!
Villarreal’s next match is against Real Sociedad on Monday at 7:30pm CEST at the el Estadio de la Cerámica. Another final.
Getafe CF: David Soria; Nyom, Djené, Etxeita, Olivera; Arambarri, Timor (Hugo Duro, m. 68); Jason (Portillo, m. 68), Maksimovic, Cucurella (Amath, m. 87); and Mata (Ángel, m. 57).
Villarreal CF: Asenjo; Rubén Peña, Albiol, Pau, Alberto Moreno; Anguissa, Iborra; Chukwueze (Moi Gómez, m. 51), Cazorla (Mario Gaspar, m. 88), Ontiveros (Trigueros, m. 88); and Gerard (Fer Niño, m. 94).
Goals: 0-1. Min. 65: Cazorla (penalty). 1-1. Min. 79: Hugo Duro. 1-2. Min. 85: Cazorla (penalty). 1-3. Min. 92: Rubén Peña.
Referee: Estrada Fernández. Booked: David Soria and Ángel for Getafe; Gerard for Villarreal.
Information: Match corresponding to LaLiga Matchday 35 played at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez.