Even Unai Emery’s Villarreal won at the Camp Nou. The Basque coach had always been bad at the Barça stadium and the yellow team had already gone 13 years without claiming victory on Barça’s pitch. It happens that lately there is an open bar at the home of the Barcelona fans, who have long since left the League and concede defeats without competing, also against Villarreal. Emery’s boys won with the cap, without breaking to play and almost unintentionally, even though their qualification for the Conference League was at stake. They were never aware of Athletic and they certified their classification for the third European competition.
Villarreal was simply a spectator of the calamities of Barça. Although it lacked depth, the Barça game seemed out of the box and for a moment happy and intense, as if the team had freed itself after an agonizing fight for the League runner-up position. Dembélé was not on the court and after a month and a half Adama reappeared. Frenkie de Jong’s driving and Araujo’s authority illustrated a meeting set by the more than 50,000 fans gathered at the Camp Nou. It even seemed to wake up Ferran.
Villarreal let Barça do. He was in no trouble to defend and he didn’t even need to spot Ter Stegen’s frame. The absence of Gerard Moreno lowered a forward that included an old acquaintance of the Barça fans such as Alcácer. The striker appeared to unload towards Parejo and the filtered pass from the midfielder was finished off by Pedraza’s left foot. The move was applauded by Adama and Alves to Xavi’s irritation. A couple of shots reached Villarreal to make it 0-1. There is no defense more fragile than that of Barcelona.
Adama made a mistake again when he went back to defend Pedraza and his bad rejection was a gift for Moi Gómez, who stopped the ball and shot with his left foot to the right of Ter Stegen, a symbol of Barça’s dejection: 0-2. Xavi responded in a withering manner and removed Adama in what was surely his last match at the Camp Nou. Ansu Fati and Dembélé appeared on the scene, called because he plays with his future after the coach has already begun to receive the players he does not have, such as Umtiti, Mingueza, Riqui Puig, Neto and Braithwaite.
The changes only helped the game to be consumed less more regretfully because the game had already been resolved for a long time and the fans have decided to sing and remember Mbappé and Madrid rather than disapprove of Barça’s unworthy football. Until next season, nobody wants to know anything about Barcelona while Villarreal celebrates its permanence in Europe.
Defeat of Athletic and Atlético wins in Anoeta
Athletic dived into the Guadalquivir looking for the treasure of the Conference, an unprecedented competition for the League teams, but what they did against a Seville party at the end of the year did not come to them, because, in addition to having to score, it depended on other variables, which did not occur. Villarreal will be the Spanish pioneer in the third competition. The people of Bilbao remain, one more season, at the gates.
Marcelino’s team, whose continuity is unknown, was in tune, while Lopetegui’s Sevilla, to whom the stands cheered enthusiastically, took it more calmly for many minutes. Yuri scored a great goal that put Athletic ahead, but the VAR detected a hand that annulled it, and perhaps for that reason, perhaps also because of the result of the Camp Nou, the vital tone of the rojiblancos lowered, who in the second half gave up that dominance they had maintained in the first quarter.
It was the local team that, freed from any ties, took command and tilted the field to their side. Although Iñaki Williams sent something similar to a shot to the post, after Dmitrovic’s rejection, it was Sevilla who came closest. The VAR also annulled a Sevillian goal, due to Koundé being offside, but Rafa Mir was ready not to fall, minutes later in the same error, and stood up to Unai Simón to beat him low, overtake his team and prolong the party in Nervion.
Then Athletic pushed hard, seeking at least the consolation of a tie, but it was not fine from midfield forward. Besides, he had already lost all hope. The people of Bilbao take vacations, although the club is still open in the middle of the electoral process. The candidates are supposed to promise Europe in their program.
At Anoeta, Atlético beat Real Sociedad (1-2), after signing a good second half, and kept third place, awarded seven million euros. Imanol’s team was better in the first half, but they couldn’t create much danger for Oblak. In the second act, Simeone’s men came out with one more march and opened on the scoreboard (m.55) with a great right foot from outside the area that slipped through Remiro’s squad. Correa made the second (m. 67), after a collective play by the people of Madrid. Guridi scored for Real in added time.