Ocampos and En-Nesyri's goals won the game for Sevilla, while Bono was vital in keeping Villarreal CF out
A vital and impressive win for Sevilla FC against Villarreal CF. Unai Emery's side visited the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán having only lost one game all season and picked up points on their last four visits to Nervión. The game was won through Lucas Ocampos' penalty in the first half and Youssef En-Nesyri's strike in the second, but Bono was influential in keeping yet another clean sheet, coming up with three top saves in the second half when Villarreal were pushing for goals. The three points allow the team to end 2020 in the Champions League spots as the team win two consecutive matches in La Liga and extend a six-match unbeaten run.
Sevilla FC went ahead very early in the first half after Foyth was adjudged to have handled a shot from Marcos Acuña in the seventh minute. Ocampos made no mistake from the spot, sending Sergio Asenjo the wrong way. Before the goal, Gerard Moreno had sent a shot over and Villarreal continued on the attack after conceding, having fortune down both wings with Peña and Moi Gómez. Despite their ball possession in Sevilla's third, the Amarillos struggled to generate danger on Bono's goal as they did not have a shot on target in the first half.
Diego Carlos forced Asenjo into a full-stretch save following a header from Suso's corner
Julen Lopetegui's team slowly but surely began to get control of the ball and move further into Villarreal's half. Diego Carlos would have two chances: first with his right foot and then with his head, both from Suso crosses. The first shot went over the bar, and the header forced Asenjo into a full-stretch save to deny the Brazilian Sevilla's second goal.
The second half started off almost identically to the first. Villarreal came out strong, looking for an equaliser; however, Sevilla would once more score in the seventh minute of the half. Villarreal were through on goal and it took a heroic Diego Carlos intervention to deny the equaliser. The ball was worked to Ocampos who fed En-Nesyri through one-on-one against Asenjo. En-Nesyri timed his run to perfection, leaving Raúl Albiol and Pau Torres in his wake, and placed the shot with aplomb beyond Asenjo, giving Sevilla their second goal in a rapid counterattack.
Bono was key after the second goal, keeping Villarreal at bay with some magnificent saves
The second goal deflated Villarreal who seemed to allow Sevilla possession of the ball and the minutes ticked by. However, Unai Emery's side appeared to get their second wind as they launched a siege upon Bono's goal, who, after the goalscorers, turned into Sevilla's saviour. The Moroccan goalkeeper came up with three excellent saves to deny Villarreal a route back into the game. Firstly he denied Pedraza who had worked his way into the box following an excellent dribble, and then Chukwueze, tipping a fierce left-footed shot over for a corner. His last key intervention would come to save a Sevilla player, as he was on hand to prevent a deflection from Fernando ending up in his own net.
Munir, moments before Villarreal's prolonged attack on Bono's goal, had sent a good cross from Acuña over Asenjo's bar - a goal that would have surely sealed the game. Bono made sure Sevilla did not come to rue that missed opporunity, helping the team seal a 2-0 win and three very valuable points which leaves the team in fourth spot in the league, with 26 points and two matches in hand on the rest of the league. The first fixture of 2021 is none other than El Gran Derbi against Real Betis at the Benito Villamarín.
2. SEVILLA FC: Bono, Jesús Navas, Koundé, Diego Carlos, Acuña, Fernando, Jordán (Gudelj, 87'), Rakitic (Óliver Torres, 75'), Ocampos, Suso (Munir, 62') and En-Nesyri (De Jong, 87')
0. VILLARREAL CF: Asenjo, Rubén Peña, Albiol, Pau Torres, Pedraza, Foyth (Yeremy Pino), Parejo, Trigueros (Bacca, 82'), Gerard Moreno, Moi Gómez and Fer Niño (Chukwueze, 62').
GOALS: 1-0 Ocampos, 7' (penalty). 2-0 En-Nesyri, 52'.
REFEREE: Soto Grado. Yellows for Foyth, Fernando, Trigueros, Parejo and Bacca.