Chukwueze finds new form under Setien


Super Eagles forward Samuel Chukwueze looks to have found a new lease of life in Spain following the arrival of former Barcelona coach Quique Setien as a new manager.

Setien replaced Unai Emery, who recently joined Premier League side Aston Villa.

The 23-year-old was on the score sheet in Villarreal’s 2-2 home draw against Hapoel Beer Sheva in the Europa Conference League on Thursday.

The Nigeria international was in the starting line-up where and played 90 minutes, scoring in the 57th.

Chukwueze has scored two goals with two assists in five appearances in the Europa Conference League and looks to get more playing time under Setien.

The Yellow Submarine dropped points for the first time in the group stage, but still top the log in Group C with 13 points and have already qualified for the knockout round.

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Villarreal have been settling into their temporary new home well recently, winning six of their last seven games as hosts.

They’ve entered the post-Emery era in dominant fashion, controlling the first half, but were left frustrated in their efforts to get the breakthrough.

Chukwueze ought to have scored against Beer Sheva within the opening 15 minutes, first firing into the near post before his rebound was denied by the bar.

Villarreal’s wastefulness was punished as Helder Lopes’ low cross was blocked by the outstretched arm of Aissa Mandi, leaving the referee with no choice but to point to the spot. Toner Hemed stepped up and confidently dispatched from the spot, giving the visitors a surprise lead.

Villareal’s Alberto Moreno then picked up the loose ball on the edge of the area and found Chukwueze, who unleashed a first-time shot that proved too good for Glazer in the Hapoel goal.

It didn’t take Villarreal too long to then take the lead for the first time on the night through the ever-dangerous Arnaut Danjuma, who showed tremendous trickery to beat a man before firing a left-footed effort into the bottom corner.


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