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Villarreal's hot start: tied for third best in team history

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Juan Carlos Garrido's 2010-11 club had 39 points in their first 18 matches; the 2007-08 Villarreal club that finished second, 35. The Yellow Submarine equaled that with its win today.

Vamos Submarino!
Vamos Submarino!
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Another matchday, and another success for Villarreal.  With today's win, the Yellows are unbeaten in their last 15 matches in all competitions (last loss, November 6 in Zurich, 3-2), and have scored goals in the last 22 matches (last shut out by Real Madrid in El Madrigal, September 27, 2-0).

With today's victory, Villarreal have 35 points from the first 19 matches of the season.  The 2010-11 team (which eventually finished fourth, with 62 points) is the only Villarreal side to have a better first half of the Primera.  That team also lost 4 matches of their first 18 (Madrid, Barca, Getafe and Real Sociedad) but had only 3 draws compared to our 5 this season.

The other VIllarreal club that finished the first half on 35 points was the 2007-08 club that finished second in the league that year, with 77 points.  That team lost to Real Madrid at home (0-5!!) and had losses to Zaragoza, Osasuna, Betis, Valladolid and Espanyol in that first half, but also defeated Valencia 3-0 at the Mestalla and Barca 3-1 at El Madrigal--so I'm tempted to say they played down to the level of some of their weaker opposition.

The 42 points in the second half that season is a Villarreal record in the Primera; Sevilla and Almeria were the only teams to beat us after the schedule turned over.

What is noteworthy about this season is that 35 points is only good for sixth place.  Which seems strange in one sense, because no one is going to get to 100 points this year.  But the 12 point gap that's opened up between 6th and 9th is quite unprecedented.  As long as the top six continue to take all three points from those below them, it's going to be a fascinating competition for the Champions League places.