Villarreal – Sevilla: Sevilla Come Alive In Second Half To Earn An Important Draw (2-2)
Both sides dominated one half in a blockbuster fixture that highlighted the attacking prowess of these two clubs. The first stanza belonged to the home team, who registered two goals, while three on-point half-time changes contributed to Sevilla’s second half demonstration of ball-possession and pressing acumen – making a draw a fitting result overall.
Tactical analysis and match report by K.T. Stockwell.
Three straight 1-0 victories since the restart have put Villarreal firmly in the European conversation. Javier Calleja’s side rattled off three straight losses before the coronavirus imposed break, but the halt in action seems to have served his side well; in part because it provided the brilliant but aging Santi Cazorla with a period of respite.
The now 35-year-old Cazorla was rotated back into Villarreal’s starting XI against Sevilla, factoring in on the left side of Calleja’s 4-4-2 formation. Joining the Spaniard back in the lineup were Samuel Chukwueze, Andre Anguissa, Pau Torres, Alberto Moreno and Paco Alcácer. The full complement categorized what can be considered Villarreal’s A-squad.
Also unbeaten since the restart, Sevilla were coming off a hard-fought draw against Barcelona on Friday night. Julen Lopetegui’s side has struggled with offensive production throughout the campaign and the three matches since the resumption of play have highlighted those struggles; with just a single goal from open play.
In a bid to rest his usual starters, Lopetegui remade the frontline of his 4-3-3 formation: bringing in Suso, Youssef En-Nesyri and the much-maligned Rony Lopes. In the midfield, Joan Jordán and Fernando . . .