Chukwueze wins MOTM in Villarreal's derby victory as Lahoz ruins Catalan derby

Samuel Chukwueze's virtuoso display helped Villarreal to a 2-1 win over Valencia

LA LIGA Chukwueze wins MOTM in Villarreal's derby victory as Lahoz ruins Catalan derby

Ayoola Kelechi 20:14 - 31.12.2022

La Liga's day of derbies saw an incredibly good performance from Villarreal's Samuel Chukwueze and an incredibly poor performance from referee Mateu Lahoz

Nigerian forward Samuel Chukwueze scored for Villarreal against Valencia, and helped them to a 2-1 win over their archrivals and neighbours in La Liga.

Villarreal beat Valencia 2-1 with a Chukwueze man of the match display

In a brilliant display that earned him the man of the match award, Chukwueze scored an equaliser for Villarreal in the 45th minute after they had gone behind to an Edison Cavani goal for the visitors midway through the first half.

Samuel Chukwueze (L) was awarded La Liga's man of the match for his part in Villarreal's victory over Valencia

Villarreal eventually won all three points thanks to Juan Foyth’s 88th-minute goal, but Chukwueze was recognised by La Liga as the Man of the Match for an outstanding display where he terrorised the Valencia defence for all 72 minutes that he was on the pitch.

Barcelona 1-1 Espanyol got the Lahoz special

In La Liga’s other derby of the day, Barcelona and Espanyol played out a bad-tempered 1-1 draw that will be remembered for another melodramatic performance by referee Mateu Lahoz.

Lahoz was again the centre of attention as he gave out 18 cards during Barcelona's 1-1 draw with Espanyol

Lahoz, who already made headlines this year for awarding the most yellow cards in World Cup history at the 2022 World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands, was at it again in the heated Catalan derby.

Lahoz awarded 16 yellow cards (eight each to both sides) and two red cards (one each to both sides), as well as a contentious penalty for Espanyol, which led to their equaliser scored by Joselu. He also gave a red card to Espanyol’s Leandro Cabrera, which was overturned by VAR, as well as three yellow cards to people on Barcelona’s bench.

Barcelona had to rely on defender Marcos Alonso for their sole goal of the game despite having Robert Lewandowski declared eligible to play. The Polish forward struggled in front of goal, missing two big chances as Barcelona slipped up in their first game back from the World Cup break.