Sevilla FC really had to dig deep this afternoon, but they got their just rewards as they came out on top against Villarreal CF at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán to secure three important points. Ocampos scored the only goal of the game, heading home an Acuña cross after he won the ball back, and that means the side pick up three points after taking just one point from their last two matches. Villarreal were the more dominant side in the second half, with the hosts having to dig deep to keep them at bay. Gerard Moreno should have equalised when presented with an open goal, but he somehow missed the target. So, another win for Sevilla, who move into second place with 31 points.
Both sides had spells of dominance in the first half, but what separated the two sides is the fact that Sevilla took advantage when they were on top and were able to score. They controlled the match early on, with multiple chances in the first 10 minutes, such as a Rafa Mir header from an Ocampos cross, which was well-saved by Rulli. Papu Gómez also fired narrowly off target with a shot from outside the area. After the opening spell of dominance from the hosts, Villarreal changed things up with Trigueros playing higher up and playing in Alcácer and Yeremi Pino, which caused trouble for the Sevilla defence.
Sevilla's high press paid off, with Acuña crossing for Ocampos for the only goal of the game
Just as the visitors began to play well, Sevilla opened the scoring. Acuña won the ball back after the team pressed high as Villarreal took a goal kick. He then crossed perfectly for an unmarked Ocampos at the far post, who headed low past Rulli. Another goal for the Argentine, who scored the only goal in the Copa del Rey match in midweek. Sevilla then had a chance on a counter attack from a corner, with six players on the attack and just three Villarreal players defending, but they could not double their lead.
Unai Emery brought on Gerard Moreno after the break and the visitors had more touches in the Sevilla area in the first few minutes than they had had in the first half, which meant Lopetegui made changes in the middle of the park, bringing on Delaney for Rakitic, who received his fifth booking on the stroke of half time and will miss the trip to Athletic next week. Unfortunately, the next change was enforced, with Augustinsson replacing the injured Acuña. Villarreal continued to push up, with Sevilla forced to sit deeper as the match went on.
Gerard Moreno had the chance to equalise but missed an open goal
The final fifteen minutes passed very, very slowly for the hosts, who brought on Óliver Torres and Munir to have extra energy on the pitch. The team defended strongly, despite the fact that most of the second half was played in the Sevilla half. Villarreal had a gilt-edged chance to equalise when Alberto Moreno crossed for Gerard Moreno, but he somehow missed an open goal. The hosts then held on to secure a crucial win ahead of a tough run this month.
1. SEVILLA FC: Bono, Montiel, Koundé, Diego Carlos, Acuña (Augustinsson, 62'), Fernando, Jordán, Rakitic (Delaney, 56'), Ocampos (Óliver Torres, 79'), Papu Gómez (Munir, 79') and Rafa Mir.
0. VILLARREAL CF: Rulli, Foyth, Albiol, Pau Torres, Pedraza (Estupiñán, 71'), Capoue, Parejo, Trigueros (Alberto Moreno, 61'), Moi Gómez (Gerard Moreno, 46'), Yeremi Pino (Chukwueze, 71') and Alcácer (Dia, 61').
GOALS: 1-0 Ocampos, 15'.
REFEREE: Del Cerro Grande. Bookings for Rakitic, Rafa Mir, Albiol and Dia.