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Villarreal on Verge of Advancing

Villarreal should have managed to advance to the Champions League knockout stages today, playing a promising but ultimately unfulfilling match against AaB. Despite going up 0-1, and later 1-2, they let the match slip even twice. Here are the highlights:

Perhaps the best thing to come from the afternoon (other than United also being held, keeping us tied atop the group), was Franco getting off the snide with a superb volley to score just minutes after coming in. It was again poor play by our back line that allowed a good chance on goal for Aalborg's first goal, and the second demonstrated our weakness against set pieces. Diego Lopez was not to blame on either goal, in my opinion (although I am not sure about how well he directed traffic for the free kick - sometimes, a perfect kick will beat the keeper no matter what).

All in all, six points is a very comfortable lead. There are two very difficult matches remaining, though, and Villarreal must stay focused. An away match to Celtic will be tough (ask United), and then welcoming the reigning European champions into El Madrigal. An easier path would be nice, but it is the Champions League.