Bakambu, Soldado carry Villarreal to comeback win over Espanyol
Roberto Soldado continued his impressive start to life back in Spain with a goal and two assists for substitute Cedric Bakambu to help Villarreal earn a 3-1 comeback win over Espanyol.
Soldado scored just seven league goals during his two years at Tottenham but he struck on his Villarreal debut in last weekend’s draw against Real Betis and netted again on Friday night to cancel out Felipe Caicedo’s early opener for Espanyol.
Soldado then turned provider with three minutes to go to set up fellow summer signing Bakambu to make it 2-1, and the duo combined again in stoppage time to wrap up the points, the DR Congo international slotting home the Spain forward’s pass from close range.
The result sees Villarreal climb to the top of the table on four points, while Espanyol remain on three.
Espanyol needed only three minutes to take the lead in their 1-0 win over Getafe last weekend and they were quick off the mark again at El Madrigal. A loose pass gave the visitors possession on the halfway line and allowed Gerard Moreno the chance to thread a perfect ball through to Caicedo, who skipped past home keeper Alphonse Areola and slotted into an empty net.
That was the way the scoreline remained until the 67th minute, when Soldado drew Villarreal with a fine volley on the turn after substitute Samuel Garcia had lifted the ball into the area.
Samuel missed a great chance to put the Yellow Submarine ahead, but Bakambu – who came on at the same time as Samuel – made no mistake in the 87th minute when, after being put through by Soldado, he rounded visiting keeper Pau Lopez before firing home from a tight angle.
The two Villarreal forwards joined forces again in the final attack of the match to seal the win, Soldado picking up a loose ball in the area before setting up Bakambu to tap in from six yards out.