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Match Recap: Villarreal 0-0 Liverpool

Unfortunately, this site had issues during the middle of the match. Nick was putting together quite a nice live blog of the match.

Villarreal starting lineup: Diego Lopez; Javi Venta, Gonzalo Rodriguez, Diego Godin, Angel; Cani, Eguren, Edmilson, Robert Pires; Ibagaza and Joseba Llorente.
Subs used: Guille Franco, Bruno Soriano, Matias Fernandez, Jordi Pablo and Pascal Cygan.

marca.comVillarreal started with a somewhat unusual lineup, with a withdrawn striker (Ibagaza) playing behind Llorente. It did not work out so well, and before long, Pires, having begun the match on the wing, switched places with Ibagaza, and the offense flowed much more smoothly.

There were a couple of chances in the first half for Villarreal, including a goal called back for Llorente for a dubious offsides. Just before half, Ibagaza fired off the post, and Cani headed the rebound over. Going into the break, the score remained tied at zero.

Beginning the second half, Villarreal kept the pressure up, and looked much the better team. But neither side could break through, and the match wound down to a nil-nil draw.

Villarreal could approach this result as more of a positive step than Liverpool, in many respects. Liverpool is much closer to beginning their season, with Champions League qualifying set to begin. Also, Liverpool has now gone goalless for two consecutive matches. Villarreal still has a month before truly competitive football begins, so they do not need to be as far along. Perhaps the lack of goal scoring can be attributed to the lack of forwards - but it is still not reassuring.

Match recaps: Marca (Villarreal perspective), Goal.com (Liverpool perspective).

For those of you desperate for any video highlights, here is "something." Hopefully better highlights will be available soon.