Nice to write one of these columns after a win. And one away from El Madrigal, to boot. The best of Sevilla vs. Villarreal to follow.
3 UP: Diego López, Borja Valero, the match-winner.
D. López. Massive at the Sánchez Pizjuán. Great saves from headers in particular, and in general command of his box. Javier Camuñas won't forget that yelling for a while. More, please. And maybe even a clean sheet at El Madrigal on Sunday.
Borja. On his game when free to roam. A goal laid on a platter by Ángel López, but someone had to meet the cross. The fulcrum of this Villarreal side: when he plays well, we win. As Allen put it: "Simply outstanding again."
The match-winner. I'm splitting the credit for the 1-2 goal between Hernán Pérez and Camuñas. The Paraguayan dynamo flew down the vacant Sevilla left flank, providing the burst of pace we had lacked all match. After a series of passes, the ball found Camuñas at the top of the box. I can't say I expected much, but what a time for your debut Villarreal goal. Well done, sir.
Honorable mention: Rubén Cani. Involved in all the right ways. Keep it up.
3 DOWN: Ángel López, true strikers, yellow cards.
Ángel. He assisted on the 0-1 goal with a well-weighted cross into the area, though it may have been intended for Joselu Moreno's head. Borja's foot tapped it in, and Sevilla attacked little down Ángel's wing. So why a negative rating? Because he's obviously not back to form and health, and I still recall Cristian Tello's advances in the final minutes at El Madrigal. As Ravi put it: "Despite the assist, Ángel worries me the most in this team." And Ravi is a crack.
True strikers. Joselu had a workmanlike effort, as always, but little to show for it. And now he's back with the B team. Nilmar's transfer saga may finally have ended, but he hasn't seen the pitch in 2012. And Alejandro Martinuccio made a mere cameo on his Villarreal debut. Add to that the successes of Hernán and Camuñas, and only a healthy Marco Ruben is left to uphold the center forward mantle.
Yellow cards. Joan Oriol managed to avoid suspension on appeal, but Bruno Soriano was not so lucky. And Gonzalo Rodríguez also will miss the Granada match. It had to happen sometime, but two (almost three) key absences in one week is inconvenient. Just when our goals against had dropped...