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Villarreal Gets Past Battling Sociedad

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Good win today. We're getting a bit spoiled, though, as a 2-1 victory almost doesn't seem like enough. Let's not turn into Barca or Madrid fans, shall we?

Match highlights from YouTube:

3 UP:

  • Santi Cazorla. Nice to see Santi back in form. He's been a bit more up and down this season than we are accustomed to, but today he was brilliant. The pass on the first goal was inch-perfect, through a sliding defender's legs and in between two others. And the second goal he created was a thing of beauty. A great steal (at 1:15 of the video clip), then an even better instinctive through-ball. Even more important on a day when the rest of the midfield was not at its best.
  • Giuseppe Rossi. A classy poacher's brace. Timely movement for the first goal, which he blasted past Bravo and then immediately turned back to midfield. Eyes on the prize. And though Santi deserves much of the credit, the Italian-American made a fine chip on the winner. Looks like he's taken lessons from his sidekick Nilmar.
  • Carlos Marchena. Good for our hardman to get some minutes on his return from injury. We'll need him on Sunday at a hostile Cornellà-El Prat. But please don't play around with the ball so much near your own goal.

3 DOWN:

  • Gonzalo Rodríguez. Our best defender on the evening, assertive in the air against his ex-teammate Joseba Llorente (whom we kept nice and quiet). Seems to be a trend, as Forlán generally keeps his goals in Madrid. But on the opener, Gonzalo was caught in no man's land. He neither marked Llorente nor Aranburu, and two headers led to a goal out of nothing and against the run of play.
  • Jefferson Montero. Warming up and then not playing against Osasuna is one thing. Not making the squad when Ángel, Nilmar, and Senna are missing is another altogether. I'll have a post on Jeffrey later in the week, but this is bad news for the Ecuadorean international. And it's not like we have anyone to fill his role in the squad (Iago should get a chance once the B team is safe).
  • Jozy Altidore. With 8 defenders in the squad, it was either him or Matilla as a change if we fell behind. Rossi's goals on either side of halftime may have forestalled a move, but Garrido kept a substitution in his pocket rather than bring on the American. After 90 minutes in the Copa, I figured that he would replace an ineffective Ruben, but it never came to be. Maybe the transfer rumors are accurate?

All eyes now on next Sunday's showdown against Espanyol. Rest up, boys.
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