The first half was strangely devoid of real chances for either side; Lotina's 4-2-3-1 worked decently enough for the first fifteen minutes, but failed to create any real chances; in the remainder of the half Valencia seemed to have a better idea of what they wanted to do with the ball, though they hardly threatened the Villarreal goal either.
The referee seemed to favor Valencia as far as fouls went--Tino Costa had the best chance of the half from a swerving free kick created by a soft challenge--but yet three of Valencia's back line, Ricardo Costa, Rami, and Barragan, picked up yellow cards.
Starting Wakaso Mubarak was always going to be a risky gamble, and there was some good Wakaso--in particular a nice pass inside the box to Borja, who just dithered too long on the ball--but also some bad Wakaso, especially overcommitting to win the ball and then giving away a free kick in a dangerous area.
Overall, no goals and no outstanding chances was a fair reflection of a strangely subdued match at the Mestalla.
HT Valencia 0-0 Villarreal
The second half was pretty much all Valencia, frankly. I don't know what Unai Emery said at halftime, but within three minutes Aduriz should have scored, but Lopez saved the shot. Then Aduriz missed an open goal when he easily beat Gonzalo after Bruno failed to intercept a through ball, and shortly afterward, in the 68th minute, Lopez made an incredible save to deny Pablo Hernandez after an excellent buildup.
Villarreal was finding it difficult to get into the Valencia half of the pitch, though Hernan Perez always looked dangerous. Los Che, meanwhile, continued to create great chances, but either put them wide or found Lopez in fine form. With five minutes to go, Aduriz was denied by Lopez again, and with three minutes to go Pablo Hernandez beat Lopez--but found the crossbar.
Amazingly given the substitutions in the second half the referee only signalled two minutes of injury time, and it really looked as though the Submarine could see it out, but then DeGuzman was called for a foul breaking up an attack down our right, and the resulting free kick was f headed on by Aduriz to Jonas who simply overwhelmed Gonzalo and beat Lopez, who had no chance.
FT Valencia 1-0 Villarreal
I don't know what to say, really. As it turned out, a 0-0 draw would have been enough to keep us up. Now we have to at least draw at home against Atletico Madrid in order to stay up--though a Granada/Rayo draw will keep us safe anyhow. We can't leave this to chance, boys.