REPORT: Leeds United 2-2 Villarreal

REPORT: Leeds United 2-2 Villarreal

Entertaining draw to end pre-season.

Leeds United 2 (Klich 9’, Bamford 38’)

Villarreal CF 2 (Koch 1’ og, Raba 81’)

Leeds XI: Illan Meslier, Luke Ayling, Robin Koch (Kalvin Phillips 45’), Liam Cooper (c), Patrick Bamford, Raphinha (Helder Costa 75’), Stuart Dallas, Rodrigo (Tyler Roberts 45’), Pascal Struijk, Jack Harrison, Mateusz Klich.

Subs not used: Kristoffer Klaesson (GK), Cody Drameh, Sam Greenwood, Liam McCarron.

Villarreal XI: Sergio Asenjio, Gerard Moreno (Dani Raba 78’), Juan Foyth (Morlanes 45’), Manuel Trigueros (c), Alberto Moreno, Ruben Pena, Aissa Mandi (Raul Albiol 45’), Alfonso Pedraza (Pervis Estupinan 60’), Jorge Cuenca, Yeremy, Fernando Nino (Boulaye Dia 60’). 

Subs not used: Mario Gaspar, Nikita, Iker Alvarez, Alejandro Baena. 

Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United side finished off their pre-season preparations against Villarreal, playing out an entertaining draw with the Europa League champions. 

The visitors opened the scoring inside the first minute. Straight from kick-off, Alberto Moreno received a chipped ball over the top and drilled a cross into the middle of the box, which deflected into the back of the net off Robin Koch. 

Looking to get back into the match, Raphinha was the first player in white to have an effort on goal. He cut in from his wing position and dragged an effort just wide of the post.  

Leeds did hit back inside the opening 10 minutes. A deep Raphinha corner was cleared to the edge of the box, where Mateusz Klich struck a beautifully controlled left-footed effort into the bottom corner to level the game up. 

Looking to take the lead, Patrick Bamford came close twice. Firstly, his header went narrowly wide from Jack Harrison’s accurate cross. Seconds later, the striker picked the ball up 20-yards from goal and curled an effort onto the top of the crossbar. 

Shortly before the interval, Leeds United’s number nine did indeed get the goal his play had deserved. Dallas whipped in a deep corner which Liam Cooper connected well with but saw his header hit the bar. From the rebound, Bamford made no mistake in firing into the net. 

Sergio Asenjio made an excellent save to deny Rodrigo shortly before the first half was drawn to a close, with Leeds taking a 2-1 lead into the break.

HALF TIME: Leeds United 2-1 Villarreal CF

Both teams made a double changes at the break, with Kalvin Phillips and Tyler Roberts entering for the Whites, in place of Rodrigo and Koch. 

The second half had a relatively quiet opening compared to the first, as both teams looked to reassert themselves on the ball and introduce changes to the game.  

The first chance of the half arrived when Harrison timed a pass perfectly for Bamford, who went forward into the box and chipped Asenjio. On the line was Raul Albiol who positioned himself perfectly to clear and deny a certain goal.  

The Europa League champions then went close themselves, with substitute Boulaye Dia having an effort on target from 20-yards or so out, which forced Meslier into a smart save. 

Into the final 10 minutes, Villarreal equalised. The move began with Dia again, before Yeremy picked the ball up in the box and pulled it back for Dani Raba to slot into the back of the net and level the match at 2-2. 

Both teams went in search of a winner in the closing stages, but neither could break through again and the match ended in an entertaining draw. 

FULL TIME: Leeds United 2-2 Villarreal CF

Venue: LNER Community Stadium York

Attendance: Behind-closed-doors

Referee: Tony Harrington