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Sport

Emery feeling bitter after Villarreal debut draw with Huesca

MADRID (Reuters) - Unai Emery said he was disappointed his Villarreal side could not make more of their dominant performance against Huesca after drawing 1-1 with the promoted side in his first game back in La Liga.

Villarreal had two goals ruled out and then went behind to Pablo Maffeo’s strike shortly before halftime, eventually levelling with a Gerard Moreno penalty.

“I’m left with a bitter taste that we couldn’t begin the season by winning at home,” said Emery, who was appointed Villarreal coach in July after Javi Calleja was sacked despite leading them to finish fifth last season.

“We controlled the first half hour, had two goals ruled out and stopped their counter attacks then after the drinks break we gave the ball away a bit and conceded a goal and then lost our rhythm.”

Emery was making his return to Spanish football after ending a highly successful spell with Sevilla in 2016 to coach Paris St Germain.

He was named successor to Arsene Wenger at Arsenal in 2018 but was sacked in November 2019 following a difficult second season.

Emery credited Huesca for their efforts in their first game back in the top flight but said his side needed to make plenty of improvements.

“Today we did more than them but it wasn’t enough. I know Huesca have had a good pre-season and are full of hope but we need to demand more of ourselves, we were under a lot of expectation and this made us hasty and anxious,” he added.

“We need to improve and grow. We need to give the ball away less often so we don’t allow teams to counter attack us because we’re not capable of defending well at the moment and it’s costing us goals.

“We need to be ready to play more long passes and our wingers need to be more patient when looking for the final ball and deliver better crosses.”

Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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