For the second time in two weeks, Villarreal dominated the match for long stretches of play, but came away with nothing to show for it.
Valencia took the lead early through an own goal by Trigueros--a Jaume Costa error set up the play, and had Trigueros not deflected the ball, Feghouli would have been in alone on Asenjo anyway--but the ball ricocheted off our man and just inside the far post....anywhere but there and it stays scoreless.
Villarreal missed Cani--injured in the warmup; Moi Gomez was largely ineffective as his replacement, so it was up to Denis Cheryshev to provide some spark.. This he frequently did--Uche was unlucky not to get onto the end of one of his two fizzed crosses to the far post, and late in the half Chery himself slammed a goalward shot off Alves, who knew little about it. Valencia's back four defended well and got in the way of several good chances, and while for the most part they did little in attack, they did succeed in playing dangerous diagonal balls for Alcacer to run after--twice the offside flag saved us, twice our defenders did.
The second half began much like the first, and while Villarreal had a great chance to even things, Bruno's free kick deflecting off the wall but palmed away by Alves, it was Valencia who scored a second goal, Mustafi heading home a cross from Alcacer (I think). Rodrigo attempted to play the ball from an offside position first, so I don't believe the goal should have counted--however, this officiating crew had a terrible day overall so no surprise they allowed the goal. This happened in the 63rd minute, and there was practically a carbon copy ten minutes later, they only difference being it came off a corner, there was no Rodrigo in the way, and there was no Chechu Dorado either--Mustafa had no one around him as he headed the ball home. He thus becomes, i am told, the first German defender ever to score two goals in the same match in La Liga.
Villarreal did score a consolation goal late on courtesy of Manu Trigueros following a nice pass from Gerard, but not even Javi Mata on Radio Vila-real could summon up much enthusiasm to celebrate it. As a commenter said on twitter, for the second week in a row Villarreal controlled the game but the other side played better in both penalty areas when it counted--that summed it up pretty well. To that I can only add--11 corners and no real chances from them....something is wrong there.
The Submarine now find themselves looking up at the European places from mid-table, and it's easy to see why--we have lost to four teams above us (Madrid, Barca, Sevilla, Valencia) and beaten only one (Celta). A trip to Switzerland in the Europa League awaits us in midweek, and then it's a visit to Espanyol. Three points definitely required after today's loss.