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Semi-Live Blog: Villarreal v Zaragoza

I will be updating the match here with major events. This will not be a full-scale live blog, though. If you need that, you can find it at Marca or Soccernet.

FT: Villarreal really took over in the second half. They definitely had it in them to put a third into the net, but held off, content with a 2-nil scoreline. A tremendous win for the Yellow Submarine, in a game in which they were desperate to turn their embarrassing home form around. Well played.

75': Cazorla comes on, replacing Mati who played a stellar game.

68': Villarreal should have put it away, with EVERYONE having a chance at knocking it in, and somehow half of the team ended up on the ground right in front of goal with the ball lying next to them, but still no goal. And in the 69th, Lopez makes a quality save. He has played great today.

Ayala has been replaced. Good riddance.

64': PENALTY GIVEN! Zaragoza is furious after Capdevila is taken down in the box. Yellows are handed out to Ayala and Diogo. Rossi to take the penalty...GOAL DE ROSSI! His 11th of the season in the 65'! Villarreal take the 2-0 lead, and this one might be in the books!

63': Mati has stepped up his play a lot. Tomasson is being replaced with Rossi. Great to see him back on the pitch.

59': Villarreal have begun to turn the tide in terms of possession. They now have a free kick just outside the box . . .juuuuuust over the top of the bar from Nihat - in fact it skims the crossbar! So close!

54': Oliviera is one on one with Lopez and shoots it wide!

49': Gonzalo accidentaly puts the ball at the feet of a Zaragozan striker, only for Lopez to somehow keep them out of the net.

48': Rossi, Bruno and Cazorla warming up on the sidelines . . .

46': I was dead on with that one ;) Cani replaced Pires at half.

HT: Villarreal have not looked good despite their one-goal lead. Zaragoza have dominated possession (60%), and Villarreal have been content to boot the ball long rather than string passes together out of the back to maintain possession and build the attack.

Pires has not been a factor whatsoever, and should be on the bench. Mati has not been very noticeable, but early on he had some fine touches. Tomasson feels like he is on the verge of breaking through, with the few chances he has had. Perhaps Cani can come in for Pires at half, with Rossi coming in for Mati around 60' - thus pulling Nihat back slightly.

Villarreal are in danger of dropping another couple of points if they continue to let Zaragoza dominate possession. Eventually the visitors are going to break through - Villarreal have been lucky it hasn't happened already.

25': Huge save from Diego Lopez. In the last three minutes, Zaragoza has had a lot of possession, including a shot off the post and a couple of corners.

20': Not sure if Pires has touched the ball yet. He has really been nonexistent today.

11': GOAL NIHAT! Beautiful pass from Senna from midfield over the back line of the defense, Nihat settles off his chest, one touch, then lifts it over the keeper. Nihat with his 12th of the season!

3': Villarreal had a great chance 30 seconds in, but the best moment so far has been on Ayala's first touch, when the boos and whistles rained down.


Villarreal's Starting Lineup (4-4-2): Diego Lopez; Javi Venta, Gonzalo, Godin, Capdevila; Pires, Senna, Eguren, Fernandez; Nihat, Tomasson. It is interesting to see Mati again - Mati is getting a lot more playing time lately, perhaps Pelligrini is finally beginning to think he has found his way in Spain.
Zaragoza's Starting Lineup: Cesar; Paredes, Zapater, Ayala, Diogo; Gabi, Luccin, Matuzalem, Oscar; Garcia, Oliviera.