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Villarreal loses in the Copa, Garrido is fired

From toast of the town to the unemployment line--a lot can happen to a coach in a couple of years (Photo by Ronny Hartmann/Bongarts/Getty Images)
From toast of the town to the unemployment line--a lot can happen to a coach in a couple of years (Photo by Ronny Hartmann/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Bongarts/Getty Images

A warm and windy evening at El Madrigal, not a large crowd, to no one's surprise. it is the Copa, it is the Wednesday before Christmas.

If Garrido thought his team would come out and blow Mirandes away (he probably didn't), he and the rest of us were quickly disabused of that notion. In the sixth minute Angel was called for a penalty (it was a clumsy challenge, though I thought he got the ball), but the referee gave him a yellow card and awarded Mirandés a penalty. Up stepped Alain to take it, and Cesar, who has an amazing talent for stopping penalties, duly did so, guessing correctly to knock away the low shot.

The rest of the half can be summarized pretty simply. Villarreal had most of the possession, Borja Valero and Cani rn the flanks and won some freekicks and corners, but nothing came of them. We were unable to involve Marco Ruben and Nilmar in the game--the only really good shot on goal was from Borja.

Mirandes looked dangerous when they counterattacked, and had the better chances of the half but Alain blasted over following a great run and pullback, and so too did one of their other players (I missed who) after a nice run.

HT Villarreal 0-0 Mirandés

The Villarreal players were whistled off the pitch (some of the criticism doubtless aimed at the referee as well) and when they returned it was soon apparent whatever Garrido had said to them at the half hadn't motivated them at all. Mirandés came out looking by far the more dangerous of the two sides, and brought on top scorer Pablo Infante for Barahona (who was on a yellow) in the 51st minute, figuring they could win the tie.

And nine minutes later, they did. Pablo had curled a free kick over the top shortly before, after Cristián Zapata had needlessly given the ball away and Mateo Musacchio had picked up a yellow for breaking up the Mirandes counterattack just outside our penalty box. This time, though, the chance came form open play, the Mirandes front line combining (as we did not do all night) to find Pablo one-on-one with Angel--who was afraid to make a strong challenge in the box, and Pablo knew it. He found space and scored a fine goal high to Cesar's left, worthy of any Primera División player.

And that was really all it took. Garrido brought on Camunas, De Guzman and Joselu for Senna, Angel and Nilmar over the next ten minutes, but nothing really happened. The only chance the Submarine had to score, frankly, came from a corner which Bruno headed off the crossbar in the 69th minute. Other than that, it was the same old same old, only the names changed. Cani played a lovely through ball to DeGuz who didn't expect it and didn't get to it.

Borja found Joselu down the right, his cross was on target, but one Villarreal player looked at another, neither of them tried a shot, and the chance was lost. Mirandes continued to create far better opportunities than anything Villarreal could muster, and with ten minutes to go it looked as though the Submarine players just wanted to get the loss over with and head home for Christmas.

In the 88th minute Mirandés counterattacked and found Pablo in the box again, and this time he beat Cesar low to the left side, the ball going in off the far post. Another golazo. The crowd (I use the term loosely) at El Madrigal actually wasn't chanting as loudly for Garrido's head as before--I think they just couldn't believe what they were seeing. It was only the Mirandés fans who were making noise--even the young supporters in the corner area had long since given up on the Garrido era.

Just before the game ended Mateo Musacchio was fouled by one Mirandés player but took out his frustration by headbutting Pablo and receiving a straight red card, a stupid and classless thing to do in the circumstances.

Overall, Villarreal had most of the possession but no real scoring threats. Garrido looked lost, the camera showed him in the dugout expressionless. I thought I caught a shot of Sr. Roig congratulating the Mirandes president.

BREAKING NEWS on twitter is that Garrido has been fired. No news on replacement.