Villarreal got their 2022-23 La Liga campaign off to a winning start with a 3-0 triumph over Real Valladolid, with Nicolas Jackson opening his Spanish top-flight account while Samuel Chukwueze contributed an assist.
Having finished a distant seventh last term, the Yellow Submarine began the new season on a solid note following a massive result at the Estadio Jose Zorrilla.
Former Senegal U20 star Jackson, who featured in nine matches during the 2021-22 campaign, was handed a place in the starting XI to reward his impressive pre-season displays.
Both sides endured a sluggish start, nevertheless, it was Gerard Romero who had the best chance to light up the fixture, but his volley could not beat goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo.
For Valladolid, they lacked a cutting edge upfront as Sergio Leon was unable to get past the quartet of Alfonso Pedraza, Pau Torres, Raul Albiol, and Juan Foyth.
Four minutes into the second half, Unai Emery’s men took the lead through Jackson as Yeremy Pino flashed a dangerous ball across the face of goal.
The home team pushed for a leveler but they were pinned deep into their own half by the 2020–21 Europa League winners.
In the 80th minute, the Yellow Submarine doubled their advantage thanks to a well-worked move that saw Chukwueze set up Alex Baena.
Things got worse for the White and Violets as they leaked a third goal in injury time, with Baena completing his brace to cap off a stellar second-half performance.
While Jackson was in action from start to finish, Algeria international Aissa Mandi was introduced for Juan Foyth with two minutes left on the clock.
For Valladolid, Morocco’s Jawad El Yamiq played all 90 minutes whereas his compatriot Anuar Tuhami was an unused substitute. Meanwhile, Senegal’s Sekou Gassama was introduced for Sergio Leon five minutes before the hour mark.
Villarreal - who remain unbeaten in their last 10 matches in all competitions - are guests of Atletico Madrid on August 21. Prior to that fixture billed for Metropolitano Stadium, they will square up against Hajduk Split in a Uefa Europa Conference League encounter.
Next up for Real Valladolid is a trip to Sevilla where they chase their first victory.