Villarreal’s comprehensive 5-0 demolition of Celta is the fourth time a Primera opponent has been defeated by that score at El Madrigal. Oddly enough, two of the four have involved Celta, so let’s start with reviewing the previous time we defeated the Sky Blues by that score.
Villarreal’s 2002-2003 season was a disappointing one—we finished 15th on 45 points—but for one day, May 18th, it all came together and Villarreal demolished Celta Vigo (who were then fifth in the league, and would finish fourth) 5-0. Amazingly enough, all of the goals came in the second half! There is a video of the entire match on youtube, and it’s worth watching some of it to see El Madrigal as it was then.
There is a nice view of the stands of the stadium just after the hour mark on the video. Benito Floro was our coach —check out his discussion with one of our players at the 1:06 mark—while Celta was coached by a certain Lotina.....
Villarreal had some pretty talented players —Belletti, the marauding right back, was excellent; Javier Calleja and Farinós in midfield were both superb players who would have had even more successful careers if not for injury, while Arruabarrena and Ballesteros were strong defenders. Scoring was
If you watch the tape you may see Juanfran—yes, that’s the Juanfran who just retired from Levante—and Celta’s number 8, Angel Lopez, later played right back for us for many years and retired from Las Palmas in June.
The other two teams we defeated 5-0 are going to be less familiar to you. UD Salamanca doesn’t even exist any more, but they came to El Madrigal in September 1998 and were defeated 5-0 (Craiovanu, 2; Antonio Diaz; Manuel Alfaro, 2). That turned out to be Salamanca’s last season in the Primera.
Until today, the last time we had won 5-0 at home in the Primera came in November 2009, when Joseba Llorente (2), Robert Pires, Giuseppe Rossi, and Cani all scored as we overwhelmed CD Tenerife. They were relegated that year, too, and are still around (in the Segunda) but haven’t been back to the top flight since. Ernesto Valverde, even with this win, couldn’t get the Villarreal fans behind his style of play; he was fired the following January, and of course now coaches in Bilbao.
There is a highlight video of this one, and El Madrigal looks much more as it did until the most recent remodel. I had forgotten how strong Joseba was up front—his second goal is amusing as he chipped the keeper but then had to head it home from about three inches.
And while we are showing highlights, how about today? Here we go....