African All Stars

Dia bags assist as Chukwueze's Villarreal decimate Rayo Vallecano

23:19 SAST 2022/05/12
The Yellow Submarine brightened their Europe chances with a convincing victory over the Red Sashes in Madrid

Villarreal secured a massive 5-1 triumph over Rayo Vallecano in Thursday’s La Liga match, with Boulaye Dia contributing an assist.

The Yellow Submarine travelled to Campo de Futbol de Vallecas knowing that anything short of a win could mar their chances of qualifying for a place in Europe next season.

Knowing what is at stake, Unai Emery’s men started the fixture like a house on fire – taking a third minute lead through Alfonso Pedraza who headed him a fine corner kick by Daniel Parejo.

However, that goal lasted for just 18 minutes as the hosts levelled matters courtesy of Sergi Guardiola.

The 30-year-old made a great solo run before pulling the trigger from inside the box, with goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli left stranded.

In the 27th minute, the visiting side restored their lead Juan Foyth after heading past goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski a cross from Pau Torres.

The harvest of goals continued in the 38th minute with a precise finish by Paco Alcacer, while Torres made it 4-1 on the stroke of half time.

Even at the substitutions made by manager Andoni Iraola, that could not rescue the situation for the Red Sashes who were unviable to match rampaging Villarreal.

Alejandro Catena felt he has scored his team’s second goal, but it was chalked off by referee Isidro Diaz de Mera who adjudged the player had committed a foul in the process.

With two minutes left on the clock, Pedraza completed his brace after he was set up by substitute Dia

Nigeria international Samuel Chukwueze was in action from start to finish, with Algeria international Aissa Mandi coming in for Torres in the 66th minute.

Senegal’s Nicolas Jackson was introduced for Giovani Lo Celso early in the second half, whereas Cote d'Ivoire's Serge Aurier was not dressed for action.

For Rayo, Cape Verde international Bebe was named in the starting XI but was subbed off for Senegal’s Mamadou Sylla a minute before the hour mark.

Thanks to this impressive win, Villarreal moved up to seventh in the log having accrued 56 points from 36 outings.

Next up for them is a home fixture against Real Sociedad on May 15 before ending the 2021-22 campaign with an away clash at Barcelona.