The 12,000-plus spectators who came to the Ceramíca had a night to remember as Villarreal eased past Almeria 8-0 to book their passage into the final 16 of the Copa del Rey. The eight goals were an all-time record for Villarreal in a competitive professional match.
Villarreal’s first goal didn’t come until the 22nd minute, Toko Ekambi cutting in on the left, receiving a pass from Jaume Costa and firing a right-footed shot past the keeper. Seven minutes later came a second goal, Dani Raba provider of this one, Toko Ekambi cutting in on the left but putting his shot to the far side of the keeper this time.
Shortly after, a third, Toko Ekambi again after good work from Trigueros and Carlos Bacca. Almeria just wanted to get to halftime and regroup, but with the last kick of the half (two minutes had been added on for stoppages) Carlos Bacca made it 4-0, Manu Morlanes getting the assist.
HT Villarreal 4-0 Almeria
The second half began as the first had ended—Toko Ekambi picked up his fourth goal on the night, and Villarreal’s fifth, from a lovely touch pass by Dani Raba. Gerard Moreno replaced Ekambi on 64 minutes, and two minutes later had himself a goal, assisted by Javi Fuego, who returned to action for the first time since last May against Real Madrid.
Villarreal’s seventh was a penalty, converted by Carlos Bacca, after both Gerard and Funes Mori had been taken down as a corner kick came in, and Dani Raba got the goal he deserved with a minute left—Gerard was the provider as Raba timed his run perfectly and slotted home.
FT Villarreal 8-0 Almeria
Let’s hope this was the kick-start the Submarine needed as they prepare for matches against Celta, Spartak Moscow and Huesca in the next week and a half. Certainly this was a fine performance against a team that was, to be charitable, not very good, but often in the Copa many teams, Villarreal certainly included, struggle to achieve dominance on the scoresheet in a match like this.
Villarreal outshot Almeria, 24-4 (14-0 in the second half), and it could have been worse—we hit two posts!!
MoTM: (1) Toko Ekambi (2) Dani Raba (3) Jaume Costa.
We’ll find out who we play in the round of 16 next week (matches to be held in January).