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Villarreal 2-0 Granada: first win of 2017

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Leo Suarez and Adrian Lopez get some playing time, too

Spain Training Session and Press Conference Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Villarreal overcame the early-kickoff curse, defeating bottom-club Granada 2-0 in front of some 15,000 sun-drenched fans at the Estadio de la Cerámica.

With Alexandre Pato on his way out, Fran Escribá lined up the Submarine in a 4-2-3-1. The central defense pairing was unusual, Bonera and Alvaro Gonzalez. Villarreal dominated play but didn’t take the lead until shoirtly before halftime, Bruno Soriano doing the honors. Alvaro put the game away in the 73rd minute with a goal off another set piece.

Granada, to be honest, were as awful as expected; this could have been worse and probably should have been, but Ochoa made a couple of nice saves, Sansone hit a post and Adrian the crossbar. Villarreal had almost 70% possession (when was the last time THAT happened). The stat of the day? In the first half, Bruno and Trigueros completed just 8 passes fewer than the entire Granada team.

With Pato definitely leaving, and Santos Borré apparently being returned to Atleti, attention now turns to the remaining days of the transfer window. Roberto Soldado should return in a few weeks but will be rusty, Bakambu comes back from the African Cup in two weeks. Will we add Caicedo? Or someone else? or just try to muddle through until then? Watch this space.