Levante and Villarreal will add this Saturday a new chapter to a saga that has been giving strong emotions in recent years. From Roger’s goal in the last minute of extra time in the Copa del Rey quarterfinals to Submarino’s victory in extremis in the Ciutat three seasons ago that straightened the course of a team sunk in the relegation places. And going through what happened three months ago at the Estadio de la Cerámica: a game of sweet memories for the groguet interests and a tremendous blow to the grainy hopes. Una’s team Emery won 5-0 with goals from Gerard Moreno twice, Boulaye Dia, Pau Torres and Manu Trigueros. After this game, the team coached by Alessio Lisci stretched their losing record to twenty-seven games without winning. And the fans, who had been waiting for a victory for nine months, exploded after the result and the sensations of their own in one of their worst performances of the course. Songs like “You don’t deserve this shirt” by the fans displaced to the stadium and there was a first clash at the exit of the players, but the strongest was yet to come. While the Granota bus returned from Vila-real to Valencia, dozens of fans gathered in the Ciutat car park to wait for the team’s arrival.
The Levantinist expedition did not hide when meeting the fans and some members stayed talking with them. This was the case of Postigo, Coke and Alessio Lisci, among others. The conversation lasted for a few minutes of great tension in which some of the granotas present conveyed to the team their enormous discomfort with their dynamic. What was said also reached those who did not appear at the stadium, since the media were present and even a user was broadcasting the audio live through social networks.
That Monday closed an entire lap without a win and started one of the busiest weeks of the season. Less than 24 hours later, Quico Catalán summoned the press in that appearance in which he explained that he will undergo an exam when the season ends. And on Saturday, on the first day of the second round, the first joy of the course came against Mallorca. Levante won 2-0 against the vermilion team with the first goal by Roberto Soldier, formerly of Villarreal, as a granota and an emotional second goal by Morales in added time. The captain reappeared at the last minute, since he had lost his ‘little hand’ at the Estadio de la Cerámica and did not witness the subsequent clash in the parking lot for having tested positive for coronavirus.
there was no continuity
The victory against Mallorca was not the expected turning point. The calendar did not behave well with the Granotas and the next match against Atlético de Madrid had to be postponed due to the Spanish Super Cup on those same dates. They had to wait two weeks to receive Cádiz, who came penultimate to the Ciutat and came out with the three points. Part of the fans even sang ‘Quico go now’ at the end of the duel against the Andalusian team.
Levante UD reaction
The reaction came precisely in the postponed commitment against the mattresses, in which Levante stormed the Wanda Metropolitano and began a good run in which they went from being thirteen to six points away from permanence. Now there are eight units that separate him from salvation in the run-up to the second leg against Villarreal. To keep the options alive, it will only be worth winning the Submarine, that team that gave him a serious correction and forced one of the most tense nights that are remembered in the Ciutat de València in recent times. If Levante bottomed out at La Cerámica, Villarreal experienced one of its great nights of the season. Emery’s team had signed a great end to 2021 by winning in San Sebastián and Bergamo and closing the year with a ‘little hand’ to Alavés. The first game in January gave continuity to that streak, which lifted the Submarino from the lower-middle zone in which it was installed and brought it closer to the fight for privileged positions in LaLiga.
Now the groguets face Orriols again after another good dynamic that was slowed down by the defeat in Cádiz before the break. The indisputable objective will be to win in what will be his home next year to cling to the European positions.