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Despite being faulted for the goal conceded during their 1-0 loss to Real Betis in the Spanish League on Sunday night, Villarreal manager, Unai Emery, stressed that Nigeria international Samuel Chukwueze is a player with quality but added that he would need to improve on his defensive ability.
The Yellow Submarines surrendered their unbeaten runs to the Green-and-Whites in a keenly contested affair at the Estadio Benito Villamarin with Rodri’s 61st-minute goal separating both sides.
Chukwueze was brought in just nine minutes into the start of the second half for Yeremi Pino.
Just a few minutes into his introduction, the Super Eagles star was caught unaware as Rodri in at the back post to easily convert a fine assist from Luiz Henrique to hand the hosts the win.
It was the first goal Villarreal conceded this season after five games and only the second match in which the team failed to score.
The defeat to Manuel Pellegrini’s side was Villarreal’s first of the season and their first loss in all competitions since May 15 when they lost 2-1 to Real Sociedad.
Speaking after the game, the former Arsenal manager was left disappointed with the outcome of the game but reinstated his belief in the Nigerian.
“Chukwueze has quality, and we are working on improving his defensive performance. He has lacked the two meters necessary to defend from post to post.”
Villarreal currently sit in the fourth position on the Spanish La Liga table with 10 points after three wins and one draw.
Emery’s men will look to return to winning ways when they face Hapoel Be’er Sheva the UEFA Europa Conference League on Thursday.