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The One That Got Away...and Iago Falqué

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Yesterday's 3-1 defeat at the Camp Nou was not a shock, but we are left disappointed:

In reviewing the rules on offsides, Pedro's goal should have counted. I thought that Pedro may have been illegally positioned on the final pass from Messi, but he was behind the ball when sent to him. So that was a clear decision against Barca.

But on the other two big rulings in the match, the ref got it wrong and damaged Villarreal's chances at a comeback. Messi's 3-1 goal was slightly offside, as Capdevila only deflected (rather than redirected) Pedro's cross. Great poaching, but it should not have counted. Justice was served, some would say, so call it a wash.

However, only issuing a yellow card to Maxwell deeply irks me (I'm done talking about it after this). Maxwell took down Borja as the last defender, which by rule is a straight red card. Borja was 1v1 with Valdes with a golden opportunity to level the match. By issuing only a yellow, the ref deprived us of both a clear scoring chance and a numerical advantage. At that moment, we still were in it with a chance.

Officiating aside, which has been much kinder to Villarreal this season than in the past, we would have been fortunate to earn a point. The midfield was too narrow and unable to maintain possession, while our wingbacks showed their age. On the flip side, I was impressed with Rossi's work ethic, and Nilmar took his goal well. With a bit of fortune and not losing focus (e.g., the 2-1 goal), we had a chance at a result.

Time to regroup ahead of next week's derbi and Champions League qualification six-pointer against Valencia. Hope Garrido shuffles the deck if Senna is not at 100%.

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And the B team earned a nice 1-0 victory over Numancia on Friday night:

Classy finish from Iago Falqué under a minute into the match. A tense 89 minutes followed, but we held on for a valuable 3 points. Can we make Iago's loan deal permanent, pretty please? Stealing Madrid youth product Borja and Barca product Iago in the same year would be nice.