It was cold in El Madrigal (well: 40 degrees or so) and the first half didn't warm anyone up. Villarreal had 2/3 of the possession, Getafe had very few forays past midfield, but there really wasn't much danger created by the Submarine either.
Cheryshev was the only player who seemed to be operating with the throttle wide open. Unfortunately, his best passes were to an out-of-form Gerard Moreno, who had a couple of chances to open the scoring but blazed first-time shots over the goal. Gio had another opportunity but slipped as he tried an ambitious volley. Villarreal had the edge on corners, 4-1, yellow cards, 0-2, and probably four or five half-chances, but no goals.
The second half was no better. Moi and Bruno came on for Mario and Pina at the 60 minute mark, but though Villarreal won some corners, they could not break through. Getafe had a shot from outside the box that Gabriel deflected to Asenjo, and before that the dangerous Yoda tried to beat Asenjo at the near post but failed.
Vietto came on with about 20 minutes left and nearly provided an assist, but Gerard's shot was saved. Then a moment later, Gerard had another nice chance but again fired a blank--another volley over the goal. Just not his day.
Just as it was beginning to seem as though Getafe would escape with a goalless draw, Luciano Vietto was fouled in a dangerous spot, directly in front of the goal and about 4 meters outside the area. Up stepped Bruno Soriano--his left-footed, somewhat soft, curving shot arced into the top right corner of the goal and Villarreal were ahead with six minutes remaining.
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The Submarine flitted about a bit after that, Getafe tried to mount a bit of an attack, but the three minutes of injury time were pretty uneventful.
FT Villarreal 1-0 Getafe
Best player for all 90 minutes was Cheryshev; Bruno and Vietto helpful off the bench. A tough day for Gerard Moreno; some days he would have scored 2 or 3, today he kept firing over the goal, except for one on target which was brilliantly saved.
Gabriel, by the way, played as if his head was well and truly in Vila-real. Dorado and Costa both made key interventions, and Asenjo had one save to make and another cross to cut out, but not much else to do.
Unfortunately, Villarreal looked nervous today, and lacked the intensity we've normally seen of late. Some of that might have been due to the lineup, some to the weather, the nervousness due to the Copa. Nonetheless, Bruno's free kick gives us 16 matches without loss in all competitions, and 23 in a row where we have scored.
1-0 is a narrow lead to take to Getafe, but it is way better than 2-1. If we can keep up our scoring record and get a goal there, Getafe would need three to advance. You'd have to say that's unlikely; the only time they have scored three goals in a match all season was in the Copa against Eibar. But an away goal will definitely be key.