Setién’s team took the lead but lost control and the income (1-1) ahead of the return at La Cerámica
MADRID, March 9 (EUROPA PRESS) –
Villarreal had to settle for a draw (1-1) this Thursday against Anderlecht in the first leg of the round of 16 of the UEFA Conference League, a loose match for the Spanish team diluted under the Belgian rain that will have to improve the next week at La Cerámica to avoid surprises.
The ‘submarine’ took time to sail to their liking at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium in Brussels, but they went into the break with dominance and the 0-1 made by Manu Trigueros in the 28th minute. With rotations, Quique Setién’s team was little little by little managing possession to get out of the local pressure at the start, with holes up top.
With a bit of patience and more precision, Villarreal took advantage of those spaces, without giving an option to the rival’s quick transitions. Francis Amuzu and Benito Raman, who even scored offside, woke up the Spanish team, forced to take the match very seriously if they didn’t want surprises.
Thus, Baena, Trigueros and Parejo took control but, with a lot of people behind, Anderlecht defended well. The first time he moved the ball well and quickly, the ‘submarine’ had a clear one with Samu Chukwueze, but Raman responded in the same minute. The Belgian team cheered up again but Villarreal punished the spaces with Trigueros only to make it 0-1.
The Spanish team did not need much to go to the locker room with that income, against an opponent far from the level of their record, but the restart was again local. The Belgian team believed in their options against a weak ‘submarine’, overwhelmed by pressure and unable to regain control with possession.
In a loss by Trigueros, Dreyer suffered a whiplash that beat Pepe Reina to make it 1-1 and the game went on to be played on the yellow field. Setién immediately brought in Gerard Moreno and Yeremi Pino, and continued the search with Jackson, Ramón Terrats and Lo Celso, but Villarreal did not command again. Brian Riemer’s men did their best to push the rival and accumulated good chances to win.
Murillo and Slimani gave Reina problems and Setién’s men barely had a couple of approaches without finishing off on goal. Anderlecht, in a weak season, will visit La Cerámica grown against a Villarreal that will have to rebuild its best version, seen in the last days of the league, to advance in a European competition that has not smiled on Setién since his signing in October.