Before 12,000+ spectators at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea, Villarreal scored early in both halves and coasted to an impressive 3-0 win over the home side.
Swansea were missing Routledge and Dyer from their usual lineup, I gather, Villarreal of course were without Mateo Musacchio. Villarreal took the lead early, Uche finishing off a quick, vertical attack with passes from Cani and Gio (Cani looked fine and it was great to see him playing again). The Submarine could have scored one or two more in the first 20 minutes, but a Gio shot was just wide and Angel Rangel just got back to clear the ball from Cani before he could sidefoot the ball home.
After the first 20 minutes, the home side was able to stabilize things a bit but their only real chances came from crosses into the box for Bony, which were dealt with. Swansea seemed very unbalanced; Jefferson Montero was quite quick and offered some quality down their left wing (though he still hasn't figured out he has a left foot), but who was on their right wing I have no idea.
Midfield was dominated by Manu Trigueros; he offered some terrific passing skills in the first half, and we probably should have been a couple of goals up at the break. Only negatives were Mario Gaspar coming off (hopefully just precautionary--looked like a back spasm or something) and some wastefulness in front of goal.
Second half: The match effectively ended within 15 minutes, with a perfectly taken free-kick by Bruno and a third goal set up by Vietto and Nahuel, but finished off by Cheryshev. These three, plus Gerard Moreno, generally ran riot against a Swansea defense that seemed unable to cope with their speed. Vietto put another shot off the crossbar and post; he had a chilena saved by Fabianski; the keeper made a fingertip save to deny Gerard, and Cheryshev could have scored another as well.
Swansea's Gomis was fast--so much so, he was called for offside a couple of times when he wasn't--but our defense really didn't looked troubled very much. I can only remember one time when a Swansea player got the ball in a good shooting position inside the area, but couldn't keep his shot down.
Overall: Impressive debut for Vietto, though he'll wish he could've gotten a goal himself; good to see Cani get 45 minutes in, Juan Carlos get 45 minutes as well; overall, Marcelino has to be happy with that performance.
From comments on Swansea blogs, their fans seem concerned that Garry Monk is replacing their more-or-less "Spanish style" passing game with hoofball. That might be an over-reaction--certainly Montero offers them a lot of pace and will trouble defenders down that side this season--but the attack looked very unbalanced and the midfield weak. But hey, they only have Man Utd for their opening EPL fixture. No big deal.
Villarreal head home now, have a weekend off before heading back to the practice field. We have the Ceramica Trophy match next Wednesday, a last friendly at Zaragoza on Saturday, and then it's off to Astana for the Europa League qualifier. Endavant!!