Villarreal’s Morales boosted with a good job Samu-ell done

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Villarreal’s Morales boosted with a good job Samu-ell done

Villarreal put three past Osasuna
Villarreal put three past OsasunaAFP
After an agonising midweek saw Villarreal’s dreams of European silverware disintegrate, they dented Osasuna’s own hopes of a continental crusade next term, with a 3-0 victory at El Sadar stretching their hosts’ winless LaLiga home run to four.

Villarreal travelled to Pamplona with domestic problems too, having failed to win five of their previous seven league fixtures, and they should have trailed within 10 minutes, but Osasuna’s Lucas Torró lost his cool and sliced an effort off target after being found in space on the edge of the area. Villarreal then duly woke up and went ahead via Samuel Chukwueze’s improvised finish into the roof of the net, after he was released inside the box by a superb lofted pass from Alfonso Pedraza.

The shell-shocked hosts nearly saw one become two just moments later, only for VAR to intervene and rule out another composed Chukwueze strike. Osasuna struggled for intensity, which allowed the Yellow Submarine to float through the rest of the first half, though it might have been a distinct lack of attacking output which most disturbed manager Jagoba Arrasate. Attempting to disrupt the visitor's stranglehold on the ball and inject pace into his side, the Osasuna boss made significant changes to his midfield at the start of the second period.

And his shuffle nearly yielded the desired effect immediately, but Villarreal’s veteran goalkeeper Pepe Reina rolled back the years with a fantastic save to thwart Abde’s effort at the near post. Increasingly sacrificing possession in favour of a counter-attacking approach, the visitors stood up to their now-imposing hosts well, with Yéremy Pino drawing Aitor Fernández into a smart stop shortly after the hour mark.

This forced Arrasate into further changes as his side desperately fought for a way back into the game, and substitute Darko Brašanac came within inches of a leveller when he struck an effort from inside the area onto the crossbar. After that golden opportunity, Villarreal never looked likely to relinquish their lead, and in fact added a second late on to completely kill the game stone dead in spectacular fashion.

There was a distinct scent of David Beckham about Villarreal’s second, as José Luis Morales lobbed Fernández from nearly 50 yards, before pouncing on Pino’s perfectly-weighted to mark the first time Villarreal have scored three or more goals in a LaLiga game since September. The triumph will give fans of the Yellow Submarine a much-needed uplift before the international break, though Gerard Moreno's unfortunate first-half injury threatens his upcoming game for the Spanish national team.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal)

See all the match stats

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