Villarreal 2 Lyon 0
On a rain-soaked afternoon at the Emirates Stadium, Villarreal secured their second win of the tournament with a convincing 2-0 win over French opponents Lyon.
Lyon started brightly, but it was Villarreal who had the first clear-cut chance of the game when Castillejo's corner found Moreno unmarked in the box but the striker could only direct his point-blank header straight at the keeper. Lyon probed forward and went close when a great move carved open the Villarreal defence, only for Kalulu's effort to be brilliantly tipped around the post by Areola. The Yellow Submarine always posed a danger on the break and a quick counter-attack saw some beautiful link-up play between Castillejo, Baptistao & Moreno, ending with a chance for Baptistao who failed to apply the finish.
Villarreal's forward play got its reward on the half-hour mark when Rukavina crossed it into the box for Espinosa who was clattered from behind by Lyon defender Mboumbouni. The referee pointed to the spot and captain Bruno stepped up to coolly place it beyond the Lyon keeper who guessed right but was helpless to stop it.
Although Villarreal went in 1-0 up at half-time, Lyon could consider themselves slightly unfortunate not to have got on the score sheet themselves, having struck the woodwork twice. First when veteran midfielder Steed Malbranque's half-volley cannoned off the crossbar, and then Bakary Kone rising highest from a corner to thump a header against the bar.
After the break, Villarreal began to take a real foothold in the game and it didn't take them long to double their advantage. Once again the trio of Moreno, Castillejo & Baptistao combining in style. Castillejo chested down Pantic's long ball and fed it to Moreno who then threaded a sublime reverse pass through to Baptistao. He dinked it over the onrushing keeper with aplomb for a well-earned second.
During the second half Marcelino decided to throw on the youngsters, with Acosta, Alejo, Garcia and Nahuel all making an appearance. Nahuel was lively up front and continues to impress, while Alejo made an immediate impact, driving down the right-hand side and whipping in a swerving cross that had to be tipped over by the Lyon keeper, and in the middle of the park Aleix Garcia looked neat and tidy, and comfortable on the ball. It was great to catch a glimpse of some of Villarreal's stars of tomorrow and I wouldn't be surprised to see a few of them knocking on the first team door next season.
Villarreal continued to press for more goals with substitute Jony Pereira twice going close but were unable to build on their two goal lead.
With still four weeks to go before the start of the new season, Marcelino will surely be encouraged by his side's sharpness at this early stage, as well as the burgeoning partnership of Moreno and Baptistao up front which looks to have real promise if today's game was anything to go by.
After their 6-0 hammering against hosts Arsenal, and today's defeat, Lyon will no doubt be disappointed at their showing at this year's tournament. To make matters worse, they became the first team not to register a single goal in the Emirates Cup since its inception in 2007.
Villarreal: Areola, Jokic, Rukavina, Iniguez (Bailly, 77), Pantic, Bruno (Trigueros, 46), Espinosa (Acosta, 77), Pina (Garcia, 64), Castillejo (Nahuel, 64), Moreno (Alejo, 77), Baptistao (Jony Pereira, 64).
Subs not used: Barbosa, Mario, J. Costa.
Goals: 31' Bruno (pk), 54' Baptistao