Preview - Villarreal vs Lyon 23 Feb 2018

Started by aaguerra90, Feb 21, 2018, 07:09 AM

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Europa League Round of 32
Villarreal vs Lyon
Friday, February 23rd, 2018
02:00 (GMT +8)
Stadium: Estadio de la Ceramica

Last five matches: W W L L L  
Average goals per match: 1.6
Average goals against per match: 1.0
Top Scorer: Carlos Bacca (2)

Last five matches: L L W L W  
Average goals per match: 1.8
Average goals against per match: 0.6
Top Scorer: Memphis Depay (3)

These two sides were tipped to provide an electrifying two games for fans--the first leg was exactly that with four goals scored and a myriad of opportunities for both teams. Lyon emerged victorious in the first leg 3-1, but that away goal may be a lifeline for Villarreal.

Lyon showed courage and mental toughness in the first leg. After finishing the first half 0-0, they went ahead 1-0 right at the open of the second half. Lyon doubled their lead three minutes later through their talisman Nabil Fekir. Pablo Fornals scored the very important away goal for Villarreal before Memphis Depay settled the score inside the last ten minutes. Depay's goal gives Lyon a sense of calmness. Without it, Villarreal might be favored to go through over the Frenchmen.

Because of their comfortable lead, Lyon should do enough to progress to the next round. Villarreal have proven in the past that they are a gutsy squad and have complicated bigger rivals, but this lead may just be too much for the Yellow Submarines. The Spaniards may get the victory, but it will not be enough to send them through.

Prediction: Villarreal 2-1 Lyon


Half Time: 0:0
Full Time: 0:1
Aggregate score: 1-4
Shots: 8:10
Shots on target: 3:6
Corner Kicks: 5:7
Possession: 51:49

Villarreal's European dream came to an end after losing 1-0 at home to Lyon. The Spanish side seems to dominate in their group games but crumble when they face a big name in the knockout stage.

Villarreal fought hard for a favorable outcome, but their comeback attempt came up way short. They paid a high price for their mistakes in the first leg and now only have La Liga to play for in order to qualify for next year's Europa League.

The Castilians defended better than in the first leg, but lacked creativity and assertiveness up front. They had most of the possession in the first half (52%) and had two clear cut opportunities through Manuel Trigueros and Enes Unal but failed to convert.

Coach Javi Calleja sent on Samuel Castillejo and Denis Cheryshev to implement a higher pressing tactic and add aggressiveness to the Villarreal attack. The substitutions had a positive effect and Lyon looked nervous. Goalkeeper Anthony Lopes had to come up big several times to deny Castillejo and Mario Gaspar.

The dream for the comeback ended when Jaume Costa was sent off for dissent with ten minutes left. Who knows what the defender said, but the referee definitely didn't like it. Lyon put the tie to rest when Memphis Depay laid a ball off to Bertrand Traore which the Burkina Faso international settled in the back of the net.

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