Villarreal take on newly promoted Huesca in the first game of La Liga 202021. Emery decided to opt with a 4411 formation with Alcacer leading the line with a formation duo of Coquelin and Parejo in midfield.
Former yellow goalkeeper Andres Fernandez was kept busy throughout the match. 6 minutes in with smart link up play with Moi, Gerrard unleashed a vicious shot across the box only to be thwarted by the Murcian Keeper.
Villarreal were the stronger side with several disallowed goals Alcacer was deemed offside after through ball from Gerrard. After a tantalising header from Gerrard Albiol’s follow up impeded Fernandez. It was a soft challenge and Villarreal were unlucky not to lead.
Huesca started to find their feet in the match with their first chance. Okazaki with a glancing header which went just wide of Asenjo’s post. After some beautiful build up play the Catalan’s struck first blood. Coquelin was caught out of position. Pedraza covered only for Maffeo to find plenty of space. He unleashed a left footed strike into the bottom corner.
The second half got of to a extremely slow start. Huesca opted for the Manchester United approach parking the bus in the hope of playing out the game.
68 minute Villarreal finally struck gold. The ball deflected from Pedraza’s head to catch Insua’s waiting arm. VAR deemed it an handball which Gerrard slotted home.
Coquelin who had a largely uneventful game was stretchered to be replaced by Iborra. Kubo and Mario quickly followed in an attempt to find a winning goal.
It was the final 6 minutes of extra time that the game suddenly livened up. Huesca had a harsh goal disallowed. Pulido’s ankle was deemed offside as poached the ball towards the net. Villarreal quickly counter attacked with Fer Nino’s right footed saved by an impressive Fernandez. Final score 1-1
All in all it proved a frustrating day for Villarreal. Clearly the stronger side they found their chances didn’t come to fruition. Neither team really deserved to win the match. Strong performances from Parejo and Gerrard. Hard to say anything more positive than that. On to the next match against Eibar.