An incredible match at the Sánchez-Pizjuán saw Sevilla come from two goals behind with 10 men to steal three points from Europa League rivals Villarreal. A 77th minute goal from Nolito would be followed up by a screamer from Nzonzi to cancel out Raba and Bacca's openers
A two-goal comeback, two red cards, a penalty saved and a screamer to rescue a point. It certainly wasn't your standard game of football this Saturday in the Sánchez-Pizjuán. Coming back from two goals down to rescue a draw against Villarreal, Sevilla robbed the yellows of three big points in a show of true character. Goals from Nolito and Nzonzi - the latter: one of the finest goals Nervión has seen this season - cancelled out Raba and Bacca's goals for the visitors. Frantic action and just enough to come away with something.
Sevilla certainly found it tough to get into the game, with European fatigue clearly a factor from Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final. But, bit by bit, the home side found their feet. Dominating possession, Sevilla would only concede chances on the break - though Villarreal looked dangerous when finding spaces in behind the Nervionenses' backline. Just before 20 minutes had passed, David Soria was called into action to deny Cheryshev in a one on one and Sevilla responded with a Vázquez header that was well held by Villarreal's man between the sticks.
Villarreal's opener would deflate the home side after a tight opening half an hour
Despite a lively half an hour, Sevilla would be deflated by a Villarreal opener. After a long spell of possession for the visitors, a floated ball to Soria's back-post would find Raba who would release a bullet header. A scrambling Soria would not be able to keep it out. Looking instantly to respond, Sevilla were left extremely frustrated when denied a crystal clear penalty for a foul on Ever Banega. To rub salt in the wounds, the Argentine was booked for simulation. Huge frustration in the Sánchez Pizjuán with the Nervionenses heading in one down at half-time.
Coming out with more fire and drive after the break, Sandro would be the first to threaten. Finding space for himself with skillful feet, the Everton-loanee would release a fierce strike that only just went wide. Montella wouldn't waste time looking to the bench. Bringing on Ben Yedder for Muriel, the Italian introduced Sevilla's resident super-sub; however, the Frenchman would not be on the field long. Protesting a Cheryshev challenge that could have seen the Villarreal player sent off for a second yellow card, Ben Yedder would bizarrely be shown two yellow cards in quick succession. Down to ten men, the comeback was now looking even more unlikely.
And things would only get tougher. Breaking with pace against a now stretched Sevilla who were still looking for an equaliser, Bacca would find himself one on one with Soria from a tight angle. The former Sevillista would make no mistake with a fine finish that just clipped the inside of Soria's post. Two-nil down, down to ten men... surely impossible.
0-2 down with thirteen minutes to go, Sevilla would never accept their fate
But Sevilla never accepted their fate. With just 15 minutes to go, the Nervionenses would finally be awarded a penalty after a Villarreal hand-ball, only to see Nolito's effort saved. Another blow. With the comeback now looking even less likely, Nolito would make up for his mistake just three minutes later when volleying in after Clément Lenglet knocked down an attacking header. With one back and now pressing harder than ever, Steven Nzonzi would heroically step up to the plate. Unleashing a rocket from 25-yards, he would complete the Sevilla comeback with a contender for goal of the season. With eight minutes to go, Sevilla pressed even more and looked the only team like scoring a winner but with a dubious three minutes added on, time ran out.
A brave comeback to rescue a point and to stop Villarreal widening the distance in the race for European football. With a win next Saturday in the Copa del Rey Final, qualification for the Europa League through league position will not be strictly necessary, though as things stand, our next La Liga match with Deportivo on Tuesday is now a must-win. Playing like we did in the second-half today will give us a good chance.