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Levante 0-2 Villarreal

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Ikechukwu Uche and Denis Cheryshev were on-target as Villarreal began their Primera Division campaign with an impressive 2-0 win at Levante.

Cheryshev, who is on loan with the Yellow Submarine for the season from Real Madrid, struck five minutes from time to give the visitors an ideal start to their campaign.

Nigerian international Ikechukwu Uche had earlier broken the deadlock in the 55th minute in a match that had had precious few chances up until that point.

Marcelino Garcia Toral's men had made light work in a 3-0 away win over Astana in the first leg of their Europa League play-off tie but they found Levante harder to break down.

Giovani dos Santos' curling strike from just outside the area went over while he struck wide from close range following a good cross from Cheryshev.

Former Tottenham midfielder Dos Santos was in the thick of the action once again, but once again he failed to find the target after firing wide from the edge of the box.

Levante had offered very little going forward in the first half although after the interval they did test visiting goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo, who was equal to Victor Casadesus' drilled effort from 20 yards.

From out of nowhere, though, Villarreal opened the scoring as Uche slotted home from close range following Cani's pass on the right.

Dos Santos then spurned another chance to double Villarreal's lead after he hit a post on the follow-up to Cheryshev's shot being saved by Levante goalkeeper Jesus Fernandez.

Fernandez then easily saved Cheryshev's wild shot from distance although there was nothing he could do with the Russian's close range finish from Moi Gomez's right-wing cross.

Levante valiantly went on the offensive in the closing stages - with Rafael Martins missing the target from a decent position and Casadesus heading against a post in injury time - but it was to no avail as their opponents held on.

ends

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