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Jose Luis Morales hat-trick sees Villarreal defeat Osasuna in Marcelino’s home opener

Villarreal CF v CA Osasuna - LaLiga EA Sports
Morales is back!
Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Villarreal got back to winning ways in La Liga with a home victory over Osasuna in Marcelino’s first league game back in charge.

The returning boss oversaw a Copa del Rey win over Zamora on Thursday night, albeit with the help of extra-time, and he has now made it two from two thanks, in large part, to Jose Luis Morales.

Morales, who has struggled with the Yellows since arriving from Levante more than a year ago, scored twice on Thursday, and he went one better on Thursday afternoon.

Villarreal CF v CA Osasuna - LaLiga EA Sports
A much-needed win in La Liga
Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

After some heroics from Filip Jorgensen, who made fine saves to deny the visitors early in the first half and second half, Morales put the Yellows in front in the 57th minute. Alex Baena played a superb ball through to Gerard Moreno, who set up a tap-in.

It was two in the 71st minute when Morales flicked the ball past his man and broke free on goal with 50 yards to run. He galloped away before slotting home with a cool finish.

Villarreal did have a couple of nervy moments after Alejandro Catena pulled one back with a header in the 76th minute, but Morales ended the game four minutes later, sidestepping the keeper before avoiding the defenders on the line with a top-corner finish.

A superb performance from El Comandante, who needed confidence having struggled at the club so far. Meanwhile, it’s a great start for Marcelino, who is two from two heading into Thursday night’s game with Panathinaikos. At time of writing, the Yellows are up to 12th place.