Villarreal and Sevilla played to a scoreless draw today in front of an excellent crowd at the newly-remodeled El Madrigal. The Submarine dominated play for most of the match, but some heroics from Sergio Rico in the Sevilla net kept us from gaining three points.
The bad news for Villarreal was Alexandre Pato’s injury, which appeared to be an ankle sprain—he came off after half an hour after falling awkwardly in an aerial duel. Santos Borré came on in his place and had the ball in the net from a corner headed on by Mateo Musacchio, but was adjudged (correctly) to be in an offside position when the ball was played to him.
Sevilla looked to exploit their width in their 3-5-2, while Villarreal looked to play more directly, with Trigueros, Castillejo, Sansone and Soriano the key protagonists. Both clubs were sloppy at times clearing their lines, and Roberto Soriano nearly made Sevilla pay for that early on. As the match went on, Villarreal seemed to be the only team with attacking ideas, and should have taken the lead on the hour mark but a shot from Manu Trigueros was deflected by a sprawling Rico onto his right post and away to safety.
That was the best chance of the match, and came in the middle of an inspired period of play that saw shots from Santos Borré and Sansone repelled and the Italian put another volley over the net from the top of the box. The last 15-20 minutes mostly illustrated how tired both teams were; Sevilla’s best chance of the match came from their only corner of the encounter, and went off the far post, but Asenjo had been fouled anyhow.
Nice crowd at El Madrigal (19,000) but no atmosphere. What happened to all the drums, and the banners from the various penyas? (including ours)? And why whistle our players? Not good.
Match stats were 12 shots to Villarreal (5 on target), 6 shots for Sevilla (0 on target). I have to say if we had scored, I think Sevilla would have made it tougher for us to keep out a clean sheet, but I honestly feel if anyone deserved a win today it was us. So all in all, not too bad, except for the Pato injury.
Now we have two weeks off before we travel to Malaga. If we can get some of our injured folks back (Bakambu, Cheryshev, Jonathan dos Santos) in the next couple of weeks I think we’ll feel better about things. Two points from two matches (and two matches we won last year) is not ideal, but Atleti can say the same thing, and Valencia are envious.