Alexander Sorlothwith a great goal in the first half, and Pepe Reina, who saved a penalty in the 90th minute the day he became the Spanish player with the most appearances in continental competition, they managed to straighten the course of the Villarreal in the Europa League after knocking down a tough Rennes (1-0).
José Rojo ‘Pacheta”s team suffered to secure their first victory against the French team, superior in play and chances, especially in the second half, in which they had numerous opportunities, including the aforementioned maximum penalty at the edge of stoppage time.
The match started with many precautions and excessive respect by both teams, who shared control of the ball during the first minutes.
Villarreal, much more demanding after the first European matchday, opted for defensive security and offered its less rhetorical and more vertical version with Alexander Sorloth as the main protagonist.
Rennes tried to mature the plays more to exploit the speed of their full-backs in the last third of the field.
Blas and Salah, with a great volley shot, were the first to create some danger, although Sorloth had the clearest great opportunitywho after gaining the back of the defense launched a hard shot that the veteran Mandanda reflexively cleared.
Bourigeaud, with a header, gave the French team the reply after a new offensive action on the right side.
In full balance of forces, Sorloth appeared to break the match. The Norwegian hunted down a defensive rebound to launch a shot close to a post, from outside the area, against which the Rennes goalkeeper could do nothing.
The goal gave Villarreal confidence, more confident in defense than in previous games, and accelerated Rennes, who took a step forward in the last minutes of the first act, in which they did not bother Reina.
Rennes came out of the locker room determined to tie and cornered Villarreal in their area. The French team took possession of the ball and began to dangerously reach Reina’s goal. Pacheta brought in Pedraza Morales to sentence the contrasbut Rennes responded by bringing their entire offensive arsenal onto the field.
Blas, with a couple of shots, was close to scoring, like Kalimuendo, who had two shots from inside the area that narrowly missed the target.
Rennes’ harassment was rewarded with a fictional penalty called by the Reina referee on Kalimuendo, finally corrected at the request of the VAR.
Terrier, with Villarreal sunk in their area, had the tie with a cross shot that went wide. Already at the limit of time, and in the midst of French harassment, Pedraza grabbed Blas inside the area and the referee signaled a new penalty. After five minutes of review for a possible previous offside, Terrier took the maximum penalty, but was met by an inspired Pepe Reinawhose stop gave Villarreal its first European victory and Pacheta air and time to continue remodeling the project.
1 – Villarreal: Pepe Reina; Kiko Femenía, Mandi, Gabbia, Alberto Moreno (Albiol, min. 84), Capoue, Parejo, Álex Baena (Pedraza, min. 57), Trigueros (Comesaña, min. 73), Yeremy Pino (Morales, min. 57) and Sorloth (Terrats, min. 84).
0 – Rennes: Mandanda; Géla Doué, Omari, Tehate, Truffert, Bourigeaud (Lee Fen, min. 72), Santamaría (Matic, min. 72), Desiré Doué (Terrier, min. 81), Blas, Yildirim (Kalimuendo, min. 63) and Salah (Gouiri, min. 63).
Goal: 1-0, min. 36: Sorloth.
Referee: Harald Lechner (Austria). He showed yellow cards to Desiré Doué and Truffert for Rennes, and to Yeremy Pino, Alberto Moreno and Álex Baena for Villarreal.
Incidents: Match corresponding to the second day of group F of the Europa League played at the Estadio de la Cerámica in front of some 17,458 spectators.