Villarreal could not capitalise on Chukwueze’s equaliser in their loss to Mallorca
Villarreal fell behind by a goal and a man in the first-half. They came back twice in the game, but their numerical disadvantage proved fatal as the game wore on, as they conceded twice more to lose 4-2 to Mallorca.
The Yellow submarines went away to the Son Moix as they looked to end a three-game losing streak. The hosts were ruthless and ungenerous on the day capitalising on their extra man against Quique Setien's men.
Javier Aguirre's men took the lead in the 20th minute of the game on a Tino Kadewere strike, before Manu Trigueros saw straight red in the 21st minute.
Jose Luis Morales equalised for the visitors in the 43rd minute, before Dani Rodriguez sent Los Piratas ahead again on the stroke of half-time.
Villarreal equalised for the second time in the game thanks to Samuel Chukwueze in the 50th minute. However Setien's mens best effort would prove to be insufficient as a double from Dani Rodriguez and Verdat Muriqi in the 56th and 63rd minute went unreplied.
The loss is Villarreal's fourth in a row, keeping them at 8th on the table, while Mallorca's win brought them level on points with their opposition.
How it happened
Villarreal started the game as the dominant side, but it all came crashing down in the space of two minutes around halfway through the first-half. Verdat Muriqi capitalised on a defensive error to set up Tino Kadewere, who only needed to tap in, firing the Pirates ahead.
It went from bad to worse very fast after Manu Trigueros was sent in for an early shower after a bad tackle that the referee flagged as 'dangerous play'. Villarreal did not feel the effects of the handicap immediately and even managed to pull one back, taking advantage of a defensive error from the hosts. The parity would not last for long as Aguirre's men went ahead again on a brilliant glancing header from Dani Rodriguez.
The second-half started the same way the first did, with Villarreal on the front foot, and they were quickly rewarded when Chukwueze broke into space, setting himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper before burying a cheeky lob in the back of the net.
The crack formed by the numerical disadvantage began to widen as the game wore on, as the fewer bodies of Villarreal no longer had the energy to cover the extra space. They inevitably fell behind again to another Rodriguez header before Muriqi sealed the victory with a sharp finish. Villarreal mustered the strength for a last hurrah late in the game, but they did not manage to reduce Mallorca's lead.
Chukwueze's game by numbers
Chukwueze continued his good form this season in a somewhat subdued manner as his team's deficit meant they did not enjoy as much of the ball as they would have liked.
However, the Nigerian still managed to register on the scoresheet with a well-taken goal, chipping Predrag Rajkovic. He completed 50 per cent of his dribbles and duels, and two of his three attempted long passes.