When this season is over, the two matches against Sevilla may prove to be the most important ones we’ve played, because in both cases we let 2-0 leads slip away. At least this time we survived with a point, but when you’re up by two goals and have an extra man, with 15 minutes left, surely a win ought to be on the cards?
However, let’s not lose sight of the good things too. Villarreal played well for two-thirds of the match, and Calleja’s formation (4-2-3-1, with Rodri and Trigueros in the pivote, Cheryshev and Castillejo on the wings, Dani Raba behind Carlos Bacca in attack) was effective, Raba looking good—and scoring on 36 minutes with an assist from Castillejo.
Immediately afterward Ever Banega appealed for a penalty but was booked for a dive instead, and a Sevilla corner eluded everyone just before the half ended, but on balance Villarreal deserved their one-goal lead.
The second half was a different affair. Ben Yedder was a protagonist for Sevilla, but not as Montella expected; coming on for Luis Muriel after the break, within eight minutes he’d picked up two yellow cards for arguing with referee Pablo Gonzalez. (To be fair, Denis Cheryshev should have been sent off for his foul on Banega—he was already on a yellow—and it was that failure to award the card that set Ben Yedder off). And Villarreal scored a second goal shortly after, with Raba playing a through ball to Bacca.
The match should have been over, done and won, but it wasn’t. Referee Gonzalez sent off Jaume Costa for a handball in the area and awarded a penalty—but Asenjo saved it! Nonetheless, Sevilla came back anyway—first a Banega free kick was headed on by Lenglet to Nolito, then four minutes later N’Zonzi scored a screamer from outside the box. There were at least two Sevilla players offside on Banega’s free kick, but neither of them touched the ball, so I guess the referee figured they weren’t involved in the play.
At that point Villarreal were hanging on for a point, at least this time the Submarine got it. So, a draw that really helped neither team.
Ignore the embed, highlights are here.
Man of the match: Whoscored says Dani Raba, followed by Asenjo. Seems fair to me.