Deportivo La Coruña are on their way to the Segunda for the third time since 2010, but 13,000 fans in the Riazor at least saw a bunch of goals in a 4-2 Villarreal win.
The Submarine took an early lead with a brilliant solo goal from Samu Castillejo, who created space for himself and whipped a curling shot just inside the far post from outside the penalty area. Villarreal added a second goal after the half-hour mark, Manu Trigueros finding space in the box to head home a cross from Fornals. And Pablito wasn’t done, as he sent Castillejo away with a perfect pass to round the keeper and tap in just before halftime. The score was a bit flattering (Asenjo having made a key save on Borja Valle early in the half) but still....
HT Depor 0-3 Villarreal
Villarreal could have made it easy, but of course.....nah. Depor (who ended up with 11 corner kicks on the day to Villarreal’s zero) got a consolation goal of sorts around the hour mark, with Borja Valle outmuscling a Yellow defender to tap home off a corner kick. Denis Cheryshev, who came on to replace Castillejo after 73 minutes, missed a golden chance to put Villarreal 4-1 up 10 minutes later, and with two minutes left Borja Valle struck again, courtesy of a fast break and an accurate pass from Adrian Lopez. Could Villarreal somehow manage to blow a three-goal lead?
Thankfully, no. Groguet nerves were calmed by Cheryshev in the second minute of injury time, courtesy of a Fornals pass to Bacca and feed to Chery. With other results going our way, the Submarine clinched sixth place and a Europa League group stage placing.
FT Deportivo La Coruña 2-4 Villarreal
We now know Villarreal will be in the Europa League group stage draw, August 31 in Monaco, with the group matches beginning September 20. A lot of work to be done between now and then.
Man of the Match: Cstillejo and Fornals (tie).