Villarreal returned to its winning ways with a 2-0 win over a limited Real Betis side courtesy of Manu Trigueros and Roberto Soriano goals either side of halftime to go third in la Liga, pending the Sevilla-Barca match later today.
It was back to the usual XI for Villarreal, and after about 15 minutes Villarreal had taken control of the match. Jaume Costa and Samu Castillejo were especially active in the attacking midfield, and in the 21st minute Manu Trigueros opened the scoring with a 30-meter swerving screamer past Adan.
Villarreal had a great chance to add a second before the break but Victor Ruiz's right-footed shot off a free kick slammed off the crossbar and back at Ruiz, who couldn't get his hand out of the way to control the ball for a second chance.
HT Villarreal 1-0 Betis
After the break, it was more of the same. Roberto Soriano added a second goal on 52 minutes, assisted by Jaume Costa, though really it was the German-Italian who did the work, maneuvering into a dangerous position just outside the box. If Trigueros's shot was a hard swerver, this was a lightning bolt from about 20 meters out.
Betis coach Gus Poyet responded by making three attacking substitutions at once, bringing in Nahuel, Ruben Castro and Alex Alegria for Joaquin, Sanabria and Felipe Gutierrez. (I have no idea why Castro didn't start; Joaquin was terrible).
Exciting as that was, it didn't produce anything to speak of. Nahuel did create a nice chance for himself late in the game but skied it; Villarreal had a couple of chances to notch a third but Adan was there to make a nice save. To be honest, the last thirty minutes looked very much like Villarreal was coasting into the international break, while Betis players were pretty much auditioning for more playing time under a new coach once Poyet is fired, which everyone expects to happen imminently.
FT Villarreal 2-0 Betis
Whoscored ratings are sometimes a bit odd, but they got it right this time--the top eight ratings all went to Villarreal players. (Probably should have been nine, actually). Betis were bad--Cejudo was lucky to stay on the pitch, a less permissive referee would have shown him about four yellows....
Rayo Vallecano fired their coach (Sandoval) today; Betis will probably cast Poyet to the winds tomorrow. If i were a Betis fan, I'd be totally happy with that.