On what should have been a nice friendly meeting between two clubs who won trophies last season, the evening went from bad to worse for Villarreal and was ultimately a disaster.
Villarreal started the game brightly in possession, but Leicester found their feet and the Yellow Submarine became sloppy at the back. Leicester went into half time 2-0 up and looking very comfortable following goals from Caglar Soyuncu and Harvey Barnes. Ayoze Perez then added a third after the break after yet more sloppiness in defence from Villarreal.
Fer Nino then made a horrific, dangerous, scissor tackle on young defender Wesley Fofana shortly after. The early signs suggest Fofana has broken his leg, and Fer Nino now has to face up to his actions. Whilst no player ever intends to cause serious injury, to make a tackle like that in any game is bad enough, but when 3-0 down in a pre-season friendly, is nothing short of disgraceful.
Villarreal are a club who tend to represent themselves well when playing teams abroad. When the friendly was announced, the excitement of two likeable clubs who do business the right way, suggested that this would be an enjoyable occasion. Fer Nino has not only caused serious injury to a young player, but he has let his teammates and the club down by tarnishing their reputation through his recklessness. Social media is already awash with justified anger towards him for committing such a tackle in a friendly, and it now remains to be seen if he will receive any punishment for it. After witnessing a dirty challenge from Roberto Soldado just last week in a friendly against Levante on Jorge Cuenca, for a Villarreal player to be so careless is very disappointing.
Leicester City's Wesley Fofana got tackled by Villarreal's Fer Nino and now Fofana is in hospital.— Football Shithousery (@FootyRustling) August 4, 2021
Absolutely horrific challenge in a pre-season friendly, prayers up for Fofana. Shocking tackle! pic.twitter.com/8H5P5KoXVT
Fer was somehow not sent off, and much to my surprise, stayed on the pitch. He eventually scored through a nice team move, before being substituted to a deservedly hostile reception.
The game ended 3-2, and whilst it was nice to see some youngsters get a run out, the performance suggests that there is much work to be done before next week’s Super Cup match vs Chelsea.
I wish Wesley Fofana a speedy recovery, and good luck to Leicester City for the season ahead.