hands on hips, out of focus. Story of our season so far, isn't it?(Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)
No rest after the match yesterday. Molina trained his men today and we can expect there were strong words from him as well as from Borja Valero, if the comments yesterday were anything to go by:
General consensus is that the "referee was bad, but Villarreal was worse", as another EPM headline put it. All the commentators agree that Atleti's first goal should have been ruled out for offside, the penalty wasn't a penalty because the contact came outside the box. (And for that matter, EPM notes that Joselu was hauled down inside the box late, a clear penalty, but no call; I confess I forgot about this one). But does that mean 'we were robbed?' No. We got exactly what we deserved.
It is confirmed that the reason for Senna not playing was fitness--he had a hamstring tweak the last practice before the match and was rested as a precaution.
As for the substitution of Hernán Pérez at halftime, EPM takes Molina to task for this. I had thought the substitution was made because Pérez took several hard knocks. If not, then I agree--taking off one of the few players who had shown desire to win the ball didn't make sense, and bringing on Mateo Musacchio in midfield didn't make sense.
There was, of course, a subplot to the match. As AS noted, Atleti had shown interest in Borja during the summer and is allegedly interested again. Meanwhile, Adrian, who starred for them yesterday, nearly became a Villarreal player:
Finally, here's Sid Lowe's take on Simeone's return to the Calderón. Apart form the picture of the two coaches embracing, Villarreal hardly appears in the article, appropriate given we hardly appeared yesterday.
Javi Mata tweeted that the only positive from yesterday was essentially now we know we are in a fight to stay up--put all those dreams of European places aside, Molina and all. And that was even before Sporting and Racing won yesterday. We're now 19th and guaranteed to finish the worst first half of a season since Villarreal joined the Primera:
Enjoy your day (as best you can after reading all this!) and let's hope for better things ahead. Endavant Villarreal.