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Villarreal's undefeated streak stretches to 10 matches

A goalless draw in San Mames was not the worst outcome for the Yellow Submarine, though the cards and hard kicks might be more of a problem going forward.

Another shutout for the Big Cat.
Another shutout for the Big Cat.
Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Villarreal ran their unbeaten streak to 10 matches with a goalless draw in a rather testy encounter in Bilbao.  Going into this match, Villarreal coach Marcelino had characterized this match more as a "must not lose" than a "must win" , and that's pretty much the way this one played out.

The weather conditions weren't great either--lots of wind and rain at times--and though, as Bruno Soriano said, the Submarine would to have liked to have done more in the attacking third of the pitch--the Yellows only managed two shots on goal--keeping the Basques off the scoresheet was the main task, and Villarreal achieved it.

The stats show the usual 60-40% possession for the home side when we play, but maybe the key stat was aerial duels, which came down 50-50, 18 wins for each side.  Given that is one of Villarreal's weaknesses, and Athletic Club's strengths, that's a good stat for us.

Overall, the back four for both sides played well.  Villarreal's concern will be that Bonera was sent off with two yellow cards, Musacchio was injured via a hard tackle and was basically on one leg, though he tweeted positivity after the match.

Roberto Soldado picked up his 10th yellow card, so will be out against Malaga.  So the Bakambu-Baptistao pairing, which has not been used much, may come into play.

With this draw, Villarreal remain 10 points ahead of Athletic Club, and with 15 matches left, it's really up to the Submarine to keep grinding out the results.  If we get six wins at home (against teams in the middle of the table and below) it would be up to Athletic Club to get 29 points from their 15, and that's not likely.

Sevilla appears to be the main threat to Villarreal; if they win tomorrow, they'll be six points down, and host us March 13.   We can look forward to another tight match then, I'd expect.  Endavant Villarreal!