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Positive play from Villarreal as the Submarine defeats Wolfsburg

A much different-looking team than in the first couple of 'local friendlies'.

David Rogers/Getty Images

Villarreal defeated Wolfsburg 2-1 in the Emirates Cup, with all the goals coming in the first quarter of the match.  If you were looking for clues as to how Villarreal would approach this season, based on today I'd say not a lot of difference to last year.

The Yellows were happy to concede possession in midfield to their German opponents, preferring to break up the play once Wolfsburg advanced toward our penalty area.  Our defensive shape was consistently good, and Eric Bailly and Mario Gaspar were particularly excellent defensively.

When Villarreal had the ball, quick passing to push the ball forward was the order of the day.  This put a good deal of pressure on Gerard Moreno, and he responded pretty well.  Baptistao was relatively quiet, still getting used to his teammates I think, but had some good flashes.  Nahuel took his goal very well and enjoyed his chance to shine.

As with so many preseason matches, the numerous substitutions around the hour mark sort of took the impetus out of the match; there really weren't many chances for either side in the last 30 minutes of the match.

Tomorrow it's clear Areola will be in goal, replacing Barbosa; I would expect to see Pantic and Jokic in the back line tomorrow, perhaps Rukavina as well.  Here are some highlights, as well as video of Gabriel and Santi Cazorla with Marcelino before the match--remember, Marce was Santi's coach when we lent him to Recreativo Huelva.