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Valencia brushes aside sorry Villarreal 5-0

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VALENCIA, SPAIN - APRIL 10: Juan Mata of Valencia scores Los Che's second goal   (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
VALENCIA, SPAIN - APRIL 10: Juan Mata of Valencia scores Los Che's second goal (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
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Maybe those of us across the ocean didn't realize what an emotional week it's been for Villarreal.  Maybe we didn't realize how physically and emotionally drained everyone was after thrashing Twente.  And, to be fair, we might not have given Valencia enough respect because, after all,  they are Valencia.   We certainly didn't expect to see Villarreal trudge off the pitch, tired and defeated by a 5-0 score.  But it happened.

The start was lively enough, but it was soon clear that Villarreal's back four was all at sea.  Garrido preferred Kiko Olivas to Jose Manuel Catala--I assume to rest Catalá ahead of the Twente match--so the back line was Carlos Marchena and three former B-teamers, Mario Gaspar, Kiko and Mateo Musacchio.

Joan Capdevila started, but in midfield.  Valencia failed at first to spring the offside trap, but within 14 minutes, Mathieu to Miguel to Soldado made it 1-0, Soldado putting a nice low shot just inside the far post and just beyond the reach of Diego Lopez.

Villarreal had difficulty maintaining possession in midfield, and the Unibats kept running into space past our static defenders.  Diego kept it 1-0 with a fine one-on-one save on Soldado, Stankevicius' header was deflected onto the post by Capdevila....Nilmar had a fine shot saved by César and Borja Valero was slow to get to the rebound, which gave us some hope, and how Pablo Hernandez finished off a lovely passing move by putting the ball well wide of everything, including the open net, only he knows.

But Villarreal nearly equalized from a bizarre move when Santi Cazorla was felled (referee Muñiz Fernandez evidently working on his tan, taking no notice), so Cazorla got up and sent the ball into the area, where Nilmar chipped it over the goal with César down.  Dealbert (I think it was) fell backward and almost looked like he tried to pull Nilmar down, but perhaps he didn't.  Anyway, Muñiz Fernandez took no notice of that either.

HT: 1-0

As the teams emerged from the tunnel, Villarreal fans had to feel some hope, but once the second half was underway, the hope began to evaporate. Nilmar worked hard to win a ball, but his cross was behind Giuseppe Rossi, and that symbolized the day.  Especially since Valencia just picked the ball up and started to carve apart the Submarine defense again. In the 56th minute, Juan Mata and Ever Banega worked a nice one-two on the right wing, and Mata slotted the ball past López, who certainly acted as if he should have done better to keep it out.

Garrido took out Capdevila and replaced him with Marco Ruben, figuring he might as well try to go for it, but nothing Garrido tried worked on this night.  All that resulted was another Valencia goal.  Yet again Kiko was beaten on the wing, but Marchena decided not to bother to pick up Ever Banega, so he scored the third goal.

The remaining 28 minutes produced two more goals (Mata, Soldado) and rest for Rossi and Borja, replaced by Wakaso Mubarak and Joan Oriol.  Wakaso got pummeled out there, with Muñiz Fernandez taking no notice, of course, but at least he had some energy to burn.  Frankly, once it was 3-0, the only thing uppermost in most Villarreal supporters' minds was getting out of there without any injuries.  That was really the only positive to take away from this performance.

FT: 5-0

No question now that Valencia should finish third in La Liga, with a six-point lead on the Submarine and owning the tiebreaker with this win.  After having to sell David Silva and David Villa, they have to be congratulated on that.  

Villarreal have to forget about this nightmare of a day and move on.