Emery takes his first home victory for La Liga as Villarreal beat a feisty Eibar in a 2-1 victory
Villarreal were the stronger side in the first 20 minutes. It was clear Eibar were riding their luck playing a high line. Villarreal were caught offside 3 times in the first 4 minutes. The final straw came as Moi Gomez played a beautiful pass through to Gerrard to score only to be ruled out by VAR.
The Yellows continued to bombard Eibar’s goal. The Basques came closest to scoring with the first onside opportunity. With a quick long pass, Inui had a dynamic run found himself through on goal. It was only from last dich attempt by Albiol that the ball found itself saved by Asenjo.
Moi Gomez and Samu had impressive first halves as they bombarded Eibar’s wings. Emery’s influence was clear as Villarreal opted for more direct and low crosses. Alcacer had several chances throughout the half. 34 mins in Gaspar powered in a pass towards him. Alcacer clearly caught off guard sent a weak shot to top of a frustrating first half.
Villarreal’s final chance came from a hyped Samu. The Nigerian with a clever turn from the half way line found himself through on goal. Opting to square it across to Gerard it was blocked by the Eibar defence.
Second half began shaky for Villarreal. Eibar with an easy goal in the 50th minute. Coquelin loses the ball in the midfield to Kike Garcia. Asenjo rushed out rashly leaving Raul Albiol floundering as Kike slotted the ball into a empty net.
Things looked bleak for the Yellows as Eibar begin to do dominate. Estupinan came on and had a stupendous influence. He sent a curling cross in from the left for Samu to pass onto Gerard. The Catalan with a beautiful turn of Eibar’s defence, slide the ball into the bottom corner.
Villarreal had to wait until 71 minutes for Alcacer’s true impact on the game. The Spaniard did not disappoint. Despite the pressure Alcacer managed to slot home from an acute angle. Calls for offside were eventually ruled out by VAR to make it 2-1.
In the final quarter Emery opted to bring on Kubo and Trigueros. The change to 4231 formation demonstrated an exciting potential partner ship with Gerard and the Japanese International. Villarreal fans will be excited to see how this progresses throughout the season.
Villarreal were the stronger side throughout and deserved to take the 3 points. The next game will prove more challenging as they take on the cheats that are Barcelona.
Robin’s opinion: Really exciting game to watch and enjoyed the more direct play from Moi and Samu. Estupinan proved to be an extremely worthy asset something I wasn’t sure we needed. Gerard as ever was extremely impressive and probably deserves Man of the Match. Excited to see more of 4231. I think Parejo and Trigueros could prove deadly with Cockers or Iborra in that CDM role.