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La Real 0-2 Villarreal: takeaways from a nice away win

Alex Caparros/Getty Images

A strange match, this one.  Here's what I took away from it:

(1) Never underestimate the importance of a good goalkeeper.

Both of the Villarreal goals were poorly defended by Rulli in the La Real goal--he gave Denis Suarez way too much room to shoot the ball low and inside his right post for our first goal.  Compare that positioning to that of Areola on Canales's shot early in the second half--yes it was wide, but Areola had it covered.  As for the second goal, I have no words....

(2) Our defending was susceptible to speed, but there wasn't much. For all their possession, RSO did little from open play.  Bruma did have a good run in the first half, catching Rukavina and Musacchio upfield, and why he was substituted was beyond me.

(3) Set pieces are still a worry. Vela rattled the crossbar and post at the end of the match off a set piece, and there were a couple of free headers whistled wide.

(4) Referee was a bit too permissive.   This ref missed some bad fouls--Musacchio should have been whistled for one on Canales in the first half, Soldado was taken out illegally in the second half during a promising attack, and Jonathan dos Santos was hauled down in the box.  It's good to let the teams play, but still....

(5) Captain Bruno had an excellent game.  So too Jaume Costa.  A quiet day for Roberto Soldado, and Cedric Bakambu, largely.

(6) Have we ever won a game 2-0 where we gave up 8 corners and had none ourselves?  And had only a third of the possession?  As I said, a strange match.

Let's hope Jonathan dos Santos is OK; next match, Valencia on Dec 31!  Endavant Villarreal!