The first was set up by Nani, who did some nice bicycle stepovers and feints and found the impressive Soler running into the box. The second was a fiasco—Ruiz passed back to Asenjo, his first touch was too heavy, and Santi Mina stole in and slotted the ball home.
Until the first goal, Villarreal had controlled play reasonably well, though without anything to show for it. But after that, and especially after the second goal, Valencia were hardly troubled. Villarreal had 20 shots on the day, but only five on target (three of those from Manu Trigueros).
Valencia’s Soler was clearly the man of the match; Trigueros was the best for me in the time I watched (which was not the entire match due to weather issues here). The bigger concern was that needing to come back, we offered precious little apart from a Pato shot from a tight angle that hit the post.
The schedule turns over now and we host Granada on Saturday. If we don’t pick three points there, the home supporters will be restive indeed. It’s not just that we are missing Cheryshev, Soldado and Bakambu; it’s that too many of our players drift in and out of matches—here a good one, here a bad one—and we are not playing up to the level we should for the talent we have. More on that to come, I’m sure.