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Villarreal overcome physical Levante challenge to continue impressive pre-season form

The Yellows continued their good pre-season form

Villarreal cF
Villarreal claimed a win over their local rivals
Villarreal cF

Villarreal hosted Levante on a friendly clash on Wednesday evening.

Well, as friendly as a team that received nine yellow cards from various fouls and protests...

This match was behind closed doors at the Mini Estadi, though, luckily was broadcasted live by À Punt (and during the night by Gol TV).

Villarreal, as is usual during friendlies, lined up two different XIs. For the first half, they went with: Reina; Foyth, Mandi, Cuenca, Estupiñán; Samu Chukwueze, Parejo, Coquelin, Carlo; Jackson and Fer Niño.

For the second half, only Reina and Fer Niño remained. Kiko Femenía, Albiol, Pau Torres and Pedraza subbed in at defence; the midfielders for the second half were Yeremy Pino, Morlanes, Capoue and Álex Baena; and Morales subbed in for Jackson.

As mentioned above, the intensity during the match was more akin to an official match than a friendly, with Levante being very physical throughout the match.

Estupiñán saw the space it was being left by Levante’s fullback and used it to his advantage, putting in a cross that Pier sent in as a golazo, also an own-goal, thus putting Villarreal ahead.

Ten minutes later, Foyth found Jackson, who discharged the ball to Samu. Samu ran towards the area and did a backpass to Niño who just had to shoot inside. In less than a half hour, Villarreal was winning 2-0.

Don’t let the scoreboard fool you, Villarreal were winning, but the play was lacking in quality.

Whether it was the roughness of Levante or other causes, we don’t know, but Villarreal were a bit bland during the match, more so in the second half.

Morales drew a penalty and proceed to scored it, getting the ire of his former fans with Levante not even acknowledging him at their twitter feed. It was five minutes later when a tackle by Álex Blesa injured Kiko Femenía, who had to leave the match, leaving Villarreal in inferiority as the only subs remaining were Rulli and Iker Álvarez, both goalkeepers.

In the closing minutes of the match, Iborra scored from a corner, bringing the definitive 3-1 to the scoreboard.

This Saturday, Villarreal will play in Pescara their last friendly against Inter. So far, this pre-season can be called a success, even though Femenía is out injured.

The next challenge is to end on a high note in the transfer market. Estupiñán, Dia and Alcácer are being tipped to go, with rumours suggesting that French team Nice and Villarreal are set to agree a loan deal for Dia.