Marcelino García Toral

Another victory in Europe… and one step closer

Villarreal achieves a close victory against Rennes and finishes top of the group in the Europa League, avoiding a Champions League rival in the last 16.

Villarreal CF, led by Marcelino, beat Rennes 2-3 in France in a vibrant match in which the yellows sealed the first place of the group in the Europa League and thus avoided playing in the last 16 of the Europa League a Champions rival that would accompany that tie. Gerard Moreno, Ilias Akhomach, and Parejo scored the goals in an eventful match that was resolved with suspense after the referee’s VAR disallowed a goal from the local team due to a foul.

  The Asturian manager was proud of the final reaction of his team, which finished the game with nine players due to injuries to Gabbia and Coquelin. Of course, Marcelino considered that they should have resolved the game earlier and not come to the final stretch with so much suffering. «Epic victory, because of how it happened. I get the feeling that we shouldn’t have reached that end because we had chances to score in the second half. We ended up with nine due to two injuries. A stroke of misfortune, because when it was under control, Coquelin and Matteo (Gabbia, after Foyth had to leave injured) were also injured. All of this super values this victory. It puts us first. It prevents us from a qualifying round. We are super proud of the players”.  

Marcelino is clear that his team must give a better defensive performance than the one offered in the last match of the group stage of the Europa League played at the Roazhon Park stadium in before 26,000 spectators. «We have virtues and defects, we have to work to be more competitive. If you are very good at the top but you bleed at the back, you can’t win games. Today we had to score three to win. “We have to improve it”.