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Result: Villarreal 1-2 Genoa

Video Highlights on YouTube

Villarreal lost the 10th edition of the Trofeo de la Ceramica on Thursday evening at El Madrigal. The game finished 1-2, but Genoa had a 2nd-half penalty well saved by Xavi Oliva and a number of other chances. Gonzalo had a 1st-half header off a corner cleared off the line by Genoa's goalie Marco Amelia, but we had precious few other chances. Here's a full recap.

Our one goal came on a penalty created by Jony Pereira, who drew a handball from a fallen defender in the box. Pires converted in the bottom left-hand corner, even though Amelia guessed correctly. There was a late penalty shout on a run by Marcano, of all people, but it was questionable at best.

My takeaways:

1. Jony cannot play as a lone striker, but I think we all knew that. Frankly I'm not sure any of our guys have that ability. But thankfully, we should never see that again, as Llorente and Ruben won't have knocks and Rossi and Nilmar won't be on international duty at the same time.

2. The defense will take some time to get adjusted. We saw Gonzalo and Marcano paired in central defense; I think any pairing that is not Gonzalo-Godin lacks familiarity at this stage of the season. But the constant pressure in midfield and up front has been consistent under Valverde.

3. Genoa is very good. Palacio, Figueroa (our former player), and Crespo going forward, Zapater, Marco Rossi, and Modesto in the midfield, and Criscito and Amelia in back is a very solid team. Juve better watch out, based on what we saw of the two Italian teams this preseason.

On a brighter note, Villarreal B continued its unbeaten run this preseason with a 5-0 win over regional league side Sant Jordi. The goals were scored by C team player Mauricio, David Lazaro, my man Joan Tomas, Robert Flores, and Chando.