By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, kick442.com Nigeria
Villarreal fell to FC Barcelona at the Estadio de la Cerámica 1-2 as Samuel Chukwueze scored the only goal for the host.
The yellow submarines had to play almost half an hour outnumbered, as Antonie Griezmann’s double propelled the Catalans to another victory.
To face FC Barcelona, Unai Emery made four changes compared to the last LaLiga match against Deportivo Alavés. The Basque coach made variations in the defensive field, entering the eleven Sergio Asenjo, Foyth, Pau Torres, and Alberto Moreno, who was substituted in Vitoria. The entry of the Sevillian defender was the first start in an official match this season.
The yellow team started the game with a lot of energy, playing from power to power an FC Barcelona that arrived at the Estadio de la Cerámica immersed in the fight for the league title.
In the 15th minute, FC Barcelona had a great chance to get ahead on the scoreboard. Sergio Asenjo signed a fabulous intervention, taking over the line a shot inside the small area of Frenkie de Jong. It was the third opportunity for the Catalans, who put the defensive solidity of the team led by Unai Emery to the test.
After halfway through the first half, ten minutes of sheer madness followed. Villarreal took the lead with a goal from Samuel Chukwueze. The Nigerian forward received an excellent pass into space from Pau, left Jordi Alba seated with a slalom, got away from Piqué, and dribbled to Ter Stegen before finding the back of the net.
The joy of the yellow ones did not last long. A minute later, they conceded the equalizer. Antonie Griezmann beat Sergio Asenjo with a precise and subtle Vaseline.
The equalizer goal sat like a jug of cold water in the yellow ranks, who, after committing a defensive error, also conceded the second goal through the mediation of Griezmann again in the 34th minute. A hard blow for Unai Emery’s team.
In the 66th minute, the referee sent Manu Trigueros off for a tackle on Leonel Messi. The Talaverano touched the ball but then hit hard on the leg of the Argentine attacker.
The expulsion was decisive and meant a halt to the yellow aspirations. However, Unai Emery’s team made a last-ditch effort and did not give up their efforts to find the opposite goal.
The best chance was Gerard Moreno, who, in the 77th minute, sent a deflected shot into the area.
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