Villarreal followed up their win last Sunday with a 2-0 win over Cordoba, Luciano Vietto and Ike Uche providing the goals. The Submarine had a strange lineup, with Antonio Rukavina, a defender, playing on the right wing, and Jonathan dos Santos partnering Bruno in the pivote. Fortunately, Denis Cheryshev was on the other wing, and he set up Luciano Vietto for a blast into the top corner of the Cordoba goal after 24 minutes. Villarreal dominated the play, but couldn't create a second goal before the break.
Cordoba's attack consisted almost entirely of Fede Cartabia running forward, Fede shooting, Fede playing a ball forward in search of Ghilas, Fede.... well, you get the idea. Unfortunately for the home side, he shanked a shot well wide when open at the top of the box; that was really their best chance of the half.
The second half wasn't one minute old when controversy erupted; Luciano Vietto went down just inside the box, under minimal (if any) contact from keeper Juan Carlos (theirs, not ours), and writhed around a bit, but suddenly recovered in time to attempt a shot from a cross (though he missed). Cordoba players were understandably upset at the simulation, and Vietto received a yellow, as well as the unkind attentions of the Cordoba defenders for the next few minutes.
In the second half, Villarreal allowed Cordoba more possession, and Sumbarine supporters were beginning to get nervous, especially since the lineup clearly wasn't working. Marcelino's first change was like-for-like, Gerard Moreno (who had a very anonymous match) coming off for Uche. It paid off, though surely not as Marcelino had thought it might. Jonathan dos Santos either mishit his corner kick, or else tried a training-ground move--your choice. Regardless, Uche's backheel volley went in at the near post, and after that, Cordoba pretty much gave up. The remaining 20 minutes pretty much showed why Cordoba are in last place, because they were really unable to create anything. (Adrian Marin shouldered Fede off the playing surface at one point, and that pretty much signaled the end of that attacking threat).
Last year we couldn't defeat the green-and-white colista (Betis); it was good to get these three points. Not that it will keep us from wondering what has happened that Javier Espinosa, so impressive in preseason and in the early Europa league matches, has now disappeared from the pitch.
A reminder to everyone that it's Yellow Submarine vs Yellow Submarine on Thursday as we take on Cadíz in the Copa del Rey. ENDAVANT VILLARREAL!!