The Yellow Submarine sealed three crucial points, on their return to action, after the 2022 World Cup break, as Juan Foyth netted a late winner.
However, the game also marked a historic night for veteran goal keeper Pepe Reina, as he made his second La Liga debut, at the Estadio de la Ceramica.
No había mejor forma de terminar el 2022 que con esta victoria. Día muy especial por volver a defender la portería del @VillarrealCF en @LaLiga 17 años después. Club ejemplar ➕ afición 🔝 ➕ estadio increíble. ¡A por el 2023! 💛 #Endavant pic.twitter.com/wTyl8tZHa6
— Pepe Reina (@PReina25) December 31, 2022
Reina has featured in Europa Conference League and Copa del Rey action so far this season, but he was drafted in to start this tie, with Geronimo Rulli only just back from Argentina.
His starting role broke a club record, as aged 40 years and four months old, he becomes the oldest player to feature for Villarreal in any competition, overtaking Cesar Sanchez’s record from 2012.
Despite producing a solid display against Los Che, Reina is expected to return to his deputy role, when Villarreal head to Real Madrid on January 7.