Leeds United 2 Villarreal 2 - Whites hold Europa League winners in final friendly

Leeds United signed off for the new Premier League season with an entertaining 2-2 draw against Europa League champions Villarreal in a friendly played behind closed doors.

Saturday, 7th August 2021, 8:55 pm
Updated Saturday, 7th August 2021, 8:56 pm

Leeds fell behind after just nine seconds when Villarreal netted with their first attack as a left-sided cross from Alberto Moreno was diverted past Illan Meslier by Robin Koch.

United quickly recovered and drew level in the ninth minute when Mateusz Klich fired home from the edge of the box after a corner was cleared.

Leeds were then denied what looked like a stone-wall penalty when Jorge Cuenca clipped Patrick Bamford who was sent sprawling after latching on to a Raphinha cross.

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Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

Bamford had earlier seen a powerful shot from the edge of the box hit the crossbar and another header flash wide

But the Whites no 9 netted seven minutes before the break when hooking home on the rebound from close range after Liam Cooper's bullet header from a Stuart Dallas corner had smashed the bar.

Kalvin Phillips and Tyler Roberts were then brought on for Robin Koch and Rodrigo for the second half in which Villarreal pressed for an equaliser.

Leeds held firm and Bamford was only denied his second goal of the game when his dink over keeper Asenjo was cleared off the line by Raul Albiol.

But Villarreal equalised with nine minutes left when Leeds survived an initial counter but not a follow-up cross from Yeremy that Dani Raba was able to slide home from close range.

Both sides then pushed for a winner and Villarreal looked certain to get it in the 88th minute as a looping cross headed towards Boulaye Dia at close range but Meslier somehow got himself in the way.

Leeds United v Villarreal: Meslier, Ayling, Cooper, Koch (Phillips 46), Dallas, Struijk, Klich, Raphinha (Costa 75), Harrison, Rodrigo (Roberts 46), Bamford. Subs not used: Klaesson, Drameh, McCarron, Greenwood.

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Thank you Laura Collins