Villarreal could have booked its trip to the round of 32 with a win at Ibrox, but despite playing with an extra man for the entire second half, the Submarine was unable to put the ball into Allan McGregor’s net, and so we host Spartak Moscow in a couple of weeks’ time needing a result in order to go through.
Toko Ekambi had two chances to put Villarreal in front—the first he could have done better with, the second brought a fine save from McGregor. The talking point of the match though came just before halftime, when Santy Caseres was fouled by a combination of Morelos and Candeias—Morelos looked like he should have gotten the yellow, but Candeias did—and it was his second one (though Carlos Bacca had to point that out to the ref).
In the second half, more of the same from Villarreal—control in midfield (mostly) but little real danger created up top. Rangers’ Kyle Lafferty produced a fine save from Andrés, and from a free kick Funes Mori headed wide when it might have been easier to score. That sort of summed up the night. Highlights are here.
16 shots for Villarreal, but only 5 on target; Rangers had 8, with only 2 on net.
The table now reads: Villarreal 7, Rapid Vienna 7, Rangers 6, Spartak 5.
At least the position is now simplified: A Villarreal loss to Spartak at home would knock us out; a draw qualifies us for the round of 32 and, if Rapid and Rangers draw, we finish first in table, Rapid second; if there is a winner in that match, we finish second to that winner. And if Villarreal win at home against Spartak, then we qualify at the top of the group.