Sevilla 2-2 Villarreal: Montella’s men fight back to claim point in thrillerApril 14, 2018
Steven N’Zonzi’s late strike completed a remarkable comeback draw for Sevilla against Villarreal, after they had initially trailed the visitors by two goals and had Wissam Ben Yedder sent off before a dramatic final 25 minutes at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán.
Daniel Rabaseda and Carlos Bacca put the Yellow Submarine in control either side of Ben Yedder’s dismissal.
Nolito then saw his penalty saved by Sergio Asenjo after a handball from Jaume Costa also reduced the opponents to ten men, but later made amends with a calm finish before N’Zonzi equalised to conclude a crazy game.
A goalless draw for Sevilla against Bayern Munich in midweek ended their European endeavours, and their hangover continued into this fixture.
Villarreal squandered two opportunities after Denis Cheryshev’s low strike was blocked by goalkeeper Sergio Rico before Bacca lofted a header over the crossbar.
With ten minutes of the first period remaining, Samu Castillejo stabbed in an excellent cross for Dani Rabaseda to head in at the back post to give Villarreal the advantage.
In the second half, Sevilla striker Ben Yedder was penalised for diving over a challenge in midfield and was given a further yellow card for sarcastically clapping the referee’s decision.
Villarreal profited from the extra man when Bacca powered through the Sevilla defence and crashed an accurate strike past Rico into the bottom corner to extend the lead.
The home side were given a lifeline, however when defender Costa handled in his own area following a free-kick to Sevilla, and which saw him given a second yellow card.
Nolito’s penalty was nervous, and Asenjo saved comfortably low down to his left-hand side to keep the gap to two goals.
The next free-kick led to a breakthrough, as centre-back Clement Lenglet’s header teed up Nolito to volley home, giving Javier Calleja’s men hope with just over ten minutes to play.
Only three minutes later, midfielder N’Zonzi produced a moment of magic from a seemingly unthreatening position, unleashing a ferocious low hit from outside the box which beat Asenjo.
The draw puts Vincenzo Montella’s team to within one point of sixth-placed Villarreal in La Liga and three points above Girona in eighth, after the Catalan’s defeat against Real Betis.
On Tuesday, Sevilla travel to Galicia to take on Deportivo while Villarreal host Leganés.
Sevilla: Soria; Escudero, Mercado, Lenglet, Navas; N’Zonzi, Banega, Sarabia, Vásquez (Nolito 67’), Ramírez (Mesa 85’); Muriel (Ben Yedder 54’).
Villarreal: Asenjo; Rukavina, Mario, Ruiz, Costa; Hernández, Trigueros, Castillejo, Cheryshev (Soriano 65’), Rabaseda (Javi Fuego 78’); Bacca (Ünal 85’).