Making his first La Liga start of this calendar year, Samuel Chukwueze was astonishingly named King of the Match despite the Yellow Submarine’s defeat.
Playing on the right side of attack, the Nigeria international’s pace and trickery caused problems for the Atlético de Madrid defence though sometimes his delivery into the box was poor.
Chukwueze made four key passes over the course of ninety minutes, more than any other player on the pitch.
Bereft of ideas, the Villarreal players were consistently looking for Chukwueze on the right but the visitors’ defence was not breached.
Villarreal coach Unai Emery has praised Chukwueze for his performance despite his side’s 2-0 loss to La Liga table-toppers Atlético de Madrid at the Estadio de la Cerámica on Sunday night.
“We saw Samu’s return after two months without him and after solving some problems that prevented him from being comfortable on the field,” Emery said at the post-match press conference.
“He has given us certain things and we need players to widen the field for us, to be able to find the right one on one.
“We have been in games depending a lot on the full-backs and, moreover, without Peña and without Mario.
“So, we looked for alternatives of a control game, but we lacked certain things to be a little more complete. Today, with Samu, we have found many positive things.”