Villarreal dies on the shore | Soccer | Sports


Nothing is written in football, which always shows new readings that fuel passions. With a four-goal deficit created in a fateful evening in Marseille, Villarreal was on the brink of a historic comeback. The team prepared by Marcelino García Toral succumbed on the shore, who scored three goals, sought and deserved the fourth that would have taken the tie to extra time and was disappointed with a final blow from Olympique. “Head so high,” concluded the yellow captain Dani Parejo. The fact is that no Spanish team will be in the quarterfinals of the Europa League.


Jorgensen, Kiko Femenía (Morales, min. 83), Mandi, Eric Bailly (Yerson Mosquera, min. 50), Jorge Cuenca, Parejo, Coquelin (Álex Baena, min. 66), Capoue (Comesaña, min. 83), Gerard Moreno, Sörloth and Gonçalo Guedes



Pau López, Mbemba, Leonardo Balerdi, Bamo Meïté, Kondogbia, Veretout, Jonathan Clauss, Azz-Eddine Ounahi (Luis Henrique, min. 78), Quentin Merlin, Ismaila Sarr (Aubameyang, min. 45) and Iliman Ndiaye (Amine Harit, min 45)

Goals 1-0 min. 31: Capoue. 2-0 min. 54: Sörloth. 3-0 min. 85: Yerson Mosquera. 3-1 min. 94: Jonathan Clauss.

Referee István Kovács

Yellow cards Ismaila Sarr (min. 18), Azz-Eddine Ounahi (min. 47), Quentin Merlin (min. 69), Kondogbia (min. 84), Álex Baena (min. 91) and Pau López (min. 92)

Villarreal soon understood that they had reason to believe because they found paths towards the Olympique goal, who jumped onto the field between contemplative and detached, with his eyes on the clock more than on the ball. Four goals ahead and ninety minutes to manage them may never seem like a bad plan, but it is if you give up. Villarreal smelled blood and was invigorated by the good feelings they had at the start, by the duels that Capoue won in the midfield or by the gallops in which Sorloth subdued the rival defense. Marcelino’s team won, giving rhythm to the match against an opponent determined to hit the brakes.

Capoue scored just after half an hour and did justice because Villarreal had worked for it, aggressive in recovery, skilled in circulation under the leadership of Parejo, risky at the back to work on the wire. The goal came after a counterattack that culminated in a cross from Kiko Femenía into an area full of finishers, a definition of the yellow ambition. The second goal, the one that came from faith, could have arrived before the break. He did it when he returned and everything changed there. Olympique understood the mess they had gotten themselves into and tried to increase their concentration levels. It was already late because Villarreal had unleashed itself, with the best version of Gerard Moreno in a long time.

Only the Spanish goalkeeper Pau López sustained Olympique, unable to consistently defend the crosses into the area, with no arguments either to stretch out and scan the defended goal of Jorgensen, who entered the eleven after Reina was injured in the warm-up. It was there that the French team first looked for solutions, taking over from their two forwards at half-time to find ways out of the maze they had found themselves in. He couldn’t quite find them and began to run after Villarreal, who found encouragement with the second goal, a shot by Sorloth that was validated after several minutes of comparison in the VAR. The stadium, with plenty of yellow seats to occupy, was a cry: “Yes we can.”

It was possible because Marseille did not know how to defend itself and Villarreal dominated in their area. Mosquera’s goal was evidence that this was the way. With ten minutes left to play, which should have been more if there wasn’t a cheap discount from the referee, the miracle seemed close. Morales looked for it with a long shot that Pau López deflected. Each corner was agony for the trembling Olympique, who only breathed in the end thanks to a genius from Aubameyang who gave the sentence to Clauss.

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