Villarreal's goal drought continues, and so unfortunately does their injury streak (not to mention, no wins in seven league matches now). Villarreal dominated the fist half, with four shots on target to La Real's none, and their best chance came from a Tomas Pina header off a deadball which was hit wide.
Real Sociedad had chances in the second half as they controlled more of the ball, and just before the hour mark, Chechu Dorado went down, apparently having reinjured something or another. Our man of glass went out and Lario Gaspar moved to centerback, Rukavina coming on to play on the right.
A match that had been fairly pedestrian stuff came to life in the last quarter of an hour as both teams pushed for a winner. Sergio Canales blasted over with the goal at his mercy, then Manu Trigueros did the same at the other end when Tomas Pina's bicycle pass has set him up perfectly. Moi Gomez and Fran Sol had come on for Gerard and Jaume Costa, and they combined on a great chance with eight minutes left. Moi slid the ball between a defender's legs for Sol, putting it on a platter for him to tap home, but he directed the ball wide.
Chory Castro (another sub) nearly gave La Real the lead at the other end, Asenjo pulling off a marvelous reflex save, then with two minutes left Villarreal had the ball in the net but it was ruled off for offside. Jona dos Santos took a free kick after Joel Campbell was hauled down for the umpteenth time, Victor Ruiz headed it home, but he was ruled offside. Tomas Pina, ahead of him, clearly was; Ruiz might have been (barely) but it was a tough call, and impossible for the linesman to really see. (I've watched in ten times on replay and it could be he is played on by the defender in front of him, who the linesman couldn't see because Ruiz was in the way).
La Real came down and had a dangerous free kick at our end, which they wasted, then Villarreal nearly snatched another win at the death--Joel Campbell's pass in search of Fran Sol was cleared for a corner, and from that corner, Mario Gaspar's header was parried to safety by Ruli with his big left paw.
FT Real Sociedad 0-0 Villarreal
Hard to be too upset at coming away with a point, except that we really did "merito más" as Garrido always loved to say. Disappointing day for Gerard and Manu Trigueros, I thought; excellent matches for Bojan Jokic, Joel Campbell, Tomas Pina, Victor Ruiz, and Moi Gomez in his spell. And Asenjo; though he did flap at a couple of crosses, he made the big save on Chory.
Marce took some flap before and during the match for his team selection and substitutions, but I thought all things considered, what else could he do? Campbell worked well as a second striker, Jaume Costa did reasonably well on the wing. The sub for Moreno was strange at the time, but he really did not get into the game, and if Fran Sol had been able to direct Moi's cross home, we wouldn't be talking about it.