In a La Liga football match between Villareal CF and Celta De Vigo, the match was almost abandoned due to a thrown grenade containing tear gas filled the pitch. This occurred shortly after Villareal conceded to a Fabián Orellana goal in the 83rd minute. Villareal’s Jonathan Pereira was seen trying to stamp on the grenade to hopefully stop the gas but to no avail, the match was suspended for a minute until the cloud subsided. Celta went on to score a deciding goal on the 90th minute via a Nolito freekick.
Prior to the match, Villareal, having managed to become surprise challengers to the UEFA Champions League spots in the league having only being promoted this year, aimed to bounce back from a Real Madrid dismantling against a strong Celta De Vigo side. From the kickoff, Villareal peppered the Celta goal, a left footed shot by Bruno just missed on the 9th minute. A further five more shots were attempted by Villareal but the first half ended as a stalemate.
A different Celta side appeared in the second half, making their first attempt on goal on the 49th minute, a close effort by striker, Santi Mina that almost shaved the left post.
Many fans had felt that possibly they were being treated to a drab draw but this was put to rest on the 83rd minute when a freekick was won following a foul by Moi Gómez on Nolito. The cross was whipped in by Álex López with the smallest player on the pitch, Fabián Orellana, meeting it to flick the ball into the right corner. Chaos ensued shortly after as a smoke grenade was thrown onto the pitch. Three minutes before injury time, the grenade which was told to have contained tear gas, landed near the visitors goal and soon enveloped the pitch. With some players and fans clearly distressed by the smoke, the match was suspended until the cloud subsided.
With very few fans in the stadium, those that were left were treated to a late freekick by Nolito, curling away from Juan Carlos and into the bottom corner.
After the match, tv replays could not locate the person who threw the device. “I don’t know who it was, but these things can’t happen in our house,” the Villarreal midfielder Bruno Soriano said.
Investigations are pending into who threw the grenade.
A link to a video of the incident can be found here