March 3, 2021

Villarreal stops Real

Roberto López, surrounded by Villarreal players.

Roberto López, surrounded by Villarreal players.

The Real society and the Villarreal signed tables1-1) in a meeting that was resolved in the first half with two penalties from Gerard Moreno and Mikel Oyarzabal And that means the end to the winning streak of the team of Imanol Alguacil, who maintains the leadership in LaLiga Santander with a point of advantage over Atlético de Madrid, who have played two fewer games.

It was a Europa League duel, equalized and balanced, as expected, between two of the teams called to fight for the privileged positions that have even commanded the tournament in these first days.

Unai Emery’s team, with fresh players after not starting mostly on Thursday against Maccabi Tel Aviv, locked up Real in the first minutes and immediately found a reward when Aritz went with everything to a ball with which the Ecuadorian Pervis Estupiñán was going to connect and knocked down the Ecuadorian in the local area.

The international Gerard Moreno, who is in good shape, did not miss the opportunity to overtake Villarreal and put on the nerves of a Basque team that missed the lighthouse that always illuminates their game, David Silva.

However, the San Sebastian team improved as the match progressed and their chances began, those of Le Normand and Barrenetxea were wrong, but not that of the penalty transformed by the infallible Mikel Oyarzabal after half an hour of play.

Tables to face a second half in which the management of efforts and the bench could play a decisive role given the accumulation of meetings for both teams between LaLiga and the continental competition.

Game was stopped by a spectacular blow to Merino, who needed to staple his eyebrow, and in the resumption the Real was about to score in a brilliant play by Oyarzabal that the Brazilian Willian José did not complete when the gap closed by Asenjo to divert to a corner kick.

Both teams sought victory in the final stretch but the forces were already somewhat fair, which brought the match to a practically absolute balance that could be broken in the last second with a Monreal tackle that the referee, after consultations, did not reach check.

1 – Real Sociedad: Remiro; Aritz (Zaldua, m.46), Zubeldia, Le Normand, Muñoz (Monreal, m.80); Guevara (Zubimendi, m.79), Merino, Barrenetxea (Portu, m.70), Roberto López, Oyarzabal (Januzaj, m.80); and Willian José.

1 – Villarreal: Asenjo; Gaspar, Albiol, Pau Torres, Estupiñán; Trigueros (Coquelin, m.54), Iborra, Parejo; Gerard Moreno, Bacca (Chukwueze, m.46) and Pedraza (Take Kubo, m.74).

Goals: 1-0, m.6: Gerard, from a penalty. 1-1, m.33: Oyarzabal, from a penalty.

Referee: Gil Manzano (Extremadura Committee). He admonished Aritz, Le Normand, Barrenetxea, Muñoz and Zubimendi for the locals and Unai Emery, Albiol, Pau Torres and Iborra for Villarreal.

Incidents: Game played behind closed doors at the Reale Arena. A minute’s silence was observed for the death of Diego Armando Maradona.


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