Like the previous match on the same stage against Barça, Rayo was able to overcome a match after conceding a Villarreal goal. This time the Vallecano reaction was half-hearted, it did not lose everything. But he could not close a victory that resists him in his stadium, which he does not taste since the fourth day in which he won as a visitor to bottom side Huesca. Neither did he know how to win a depersonalized Villarreal, that since he thrashed the Athletic in San Mamés six seasons ago, he alternates draws and defeats that distance him from the noble pretensions and that makes him find himself on the edge of the descent positions with a squad that is not giving the expected yield. Javi Calleja is in the position of coach for the Roig, father and son, owners of the Castellón club. In the bench rayista, Michel, despite distressing classification, has the support of Vallecas. Patience has its limits.
Álvaro García leaves
Sale Alfonso Pedraza
Against Villarreal, the greater ambition and offensive productivity of the Rayo was in little by its defensive limitations of which Villarreal could obtain half revenue, a group of players of good standing, in these unrecognizable moments some of them, gripped most by the unexpected situation that they do not know how to reverse. The audacity of the subsidiary player, Chukweze, with a clear mind of bad thoughts, put Villarreal in a franchise that did not successfully manage the advantage.
The Lightning wanted everything and was determined to acquire the prominence of the game. From the intensity and spherical, the set of Michel was arranged to minimize a correct Villarreal in the development and flat in attack to which only Toko Ekambi appeared on the left wing. The Cameroonian forward complicated the life of Ba in a couple of actions that ended up in the hands of Dimitrievski, debutant the Macedonian in the goal of Vallecas.
The Rayo was deployed by the wings and the lateral centers only found the reference in attack of Raúl de Tomás that could barely connect two shots that did not lead danger to the goal of Asenjo. More recognizable the Vallecano team, appearances corresponded to Villarreal generating more danger in their arrivals to the Dimitrievski area. Attacking inside or on the left side the team of Calleja and Samu Chukweze, in the right band, barely participated in the game. Until after half an hour, a vertical opening, was reached by Chukweze and, after a couple of feints, he connected his left foot to overtake Villarreal. The 19-year-old Nigerian winger, in his second match at LaLiga, made his debut as a goalscorer.
Villarreal seemed to control the situation, barely disturbed in defense and each time with more offensive presence. And in the last seconds of the first act, he was surprised with a play repeated again and again by Rayo. Advíncula was associated with Trejo and the horizontal pass and satin of the Argentine was hunted by Raúl de Tomás to achieve the tie.
With the positive inertia, the Lightning, after the recess, put the direct one in search of the needed victory. The Villarreal, with hardly penalties, contained the vallecana effervescence. Calleja did not see it clearly and retired Gerard Moreno to strengthen the midfield with the entrance of Pedraza. More accurate was Michel with the decision taken from the bench: Álvaro García came in for Trejo and, the first ball the Sevillian touched, ended up in Asenjo's goal after picking up a centered rebound from the Palencia goalkeeper after a hard shot by Raúl de Tomás.
Vacant in his offensive Villarreal, a Vallecana defensive concession could cost him the tie, remaining Pedraza only before Dimitrievski, relieved the Macedonian with the shot diverted from Almeria. Calleja opted for Sansone and the Italian corresponded scoring the equalizer after a diagonal from left to right and an accurate shot. Before and after the VAR had to intervene to ratify two yellow goals canceled by two millimeters outside the game. Villarreal and Rayo were launched towards the comeback and led to a round-trip finish that nobody could take advantage of.