Villarreal may have put their first XI out today, but could only manage a scoreless draw against a Real Betis side that hasn't scored now in over 550 minutes of league play.
The best opportunity for Villarreal came in the second minute, when Roberto Soldado beat the offside trap and drilled a shot past Adan, but off his right post. And that, folks, was about it. Real Betis were content to jam midfield with their 4-2-3-1, and Villarreal couldn't figure out a way past it, especially since referee Gonzaléz Gonzaléz was quite permissive when calling fouls was concerned.
There were a few talking points: a Victor Ruiz error allowed Ruben Castro to break into the box, Alphonse Areola stopped his shot and poked the rebound away, though he clipped Castro in the process. A possible penalty, but referee waved the play on.
Later in the first half, a Villarreal shot was blocked by the arm of a Betis defender in the area, could have been a penalty since it appeared the defender's arm was away from his body, but no call.
And with ten minutes left, a Betis player was yellow-carded for a deliberate handball in the center circle, when he was actually the last man....should have been a red for sure.
In between those events, very little good football happened. Betis dropped deeper as the match went on, and while Villarreal huffed and puffed, Betis were able to concede corners or break up the last pass. A couple of great chances went begging.... Jonathan dos Santos missed a wide open Trigueros, instead fizzing a ball across for someone else that was cut out; Adrian Marin had a nice run into the box and a shot cleared for a corner, but squaring the ball would have been better--he had an open player there.
FT Villarreal 0-0 Real Betis
More distressing that dropping two points, which was disappointing enough, was our general level of play, which lacked intelligence, lacked organization, lacked the energy and enthusiasm we have demonstrated in the past. Betis came in to frustrate us, and they did. And if in fact Denis Suarez is leaving for Barcelona, as some are claiming, this wasn't a great farewell for him either.
A yellow card to Victor Ruiz means he misses our next match, so Eric Bailly will have to start against his former club. Seven matches without loss, but several matches without playing well either; that luck we rode against Depor, La Real and Sporting wasn't present today.