Villarreal brushed aside Levante today, 2-1, the visitors scoring from a ludicrous penalty award with the last kick of the match. Before that, Manu Trigueros converted a rather more correct penalty award, and Denis Cheryshev finished off a lovely ball from Enes Ünal at the far post. Samu Castillejo hit the woodwork twice for Villarreal and Ünal also hit a crossbar.
The first 25 minutes of the match was all Villarreal; Levante were fortunate to remain on level terms before Castillejo was taken down in the box by keeper Oier and Manu Trigueros calmly converted the penalty. After that, however, Levante came in to the play a lot more but didn’t really have any clear chances.
After the break it took only five minutes for Villarreal to notch their second, Cheryshev sliding in to not only score a goal but injure himself against the goalpost in the process (though after some magic spray on his thigh, he seemed fine). And to be honest, after that the match pretty much petered out. Villarreal buzzed around the box and forced some key clearances (and an Unal free kick required a fine save from Oier) while at the other end, Levante’s only real chance was a header from a corner in the 90th minute that Manu Trigueros cleared away from the keeper’s area.
There was one last event though as referee González González awarded a penalty to Levante. Apparently it was awarded for Daniele Bonera having his arms extended to note where attacker Boateng was, but Boateng leapt up and out like a gaffed salmon, not exactly pushed, shall we say. No matter, the ref pointed to the spot and Roger Martí converted it. So, we lose the shutout, but get the three points.
Best players: Castillejo, Unal, Cheryshev, Trigueros, Alvaro, Rodri.
Disappointing: An off game for Pablo Fornals, whose passes weren’t as precise as usual.
Nice run-outs for Raba, Ramiro Guerra and Roger Martinez.
Next up, Villarreal host Real Sociedad (Saturday). Endavant!