Eibar combined speedy counterattacks and lethal finishing to defeat Villarreal 3-2 at the Ceramica stadium. Villarreal took a lead into halftime on the strength of a Roberto Soriano header off a cross from Mario Gaspar, but would regret Roberto Soldado’s free kick that clipped the bar and rebounded to safety.
Almost immediately after the break Eibar won a penalty for what appeared to be an inadvertent trip or stamp by Alvaro Gonzalez on Kike....but in reality was nothing. Alvaro didn’t touch him, but Kike conned the referee, writhing in pain. Sure, Alvaro ran across his path, so it sure looked like a penalty, but....well, anyway, Pedro Leon dispatched the penalty easily and it was 1-1.
Villarreal had far more reason to be incensed when Florian Lejeune got away with a blatant handball in the area, and when Kike gave Eibar the lead fice minutes later from a quick counterattack, cross, and half-volley, Villarreal, for all their efforts, were unjustifiably behind.
With a half-hour remaining off went Trigueros and Castillejo for Adrian Lopez and Jonathan dos Santos, but the Mexican international was guilty of a bad giveaway in the 77th minute, and Takashi Inui pounced and fired a clinical finish past Andrés.
A consolation goal from Roberto Soriano in the 89th minute wasn’t enough. Eibar played their match to perfection, and got some good saves from Yoel in their net, while our central defensive pairing of Bonera and Alvaro was taken to the cleaners on too many occasions. We missed Ruiz for sure.
60% possession and 11 corners, 15 shots for Villarreal, but Eibar had 14. Maybe a draw would have been a fairer result but for whatever reason Eibar are our bogey team this year—just as in the first match, they seized their opportunities and their quick counterattacks were beautiful to behold—unless you were a Villarreal fan.