Villarreal picked up a big away win at Balaidos to go sixth in La Liga and open up some space over six teams in the 18-20 point range of the table.
This match could have gone either way, and both keepers were called upon to make fine saves. Sergio Asenjo was called into action early, saving a Maxi Gomez shot; Manu Trigueros had a chance to open the scoring after a defensive error by Celta but keeper Blanco made the save; however, the only goal of the match came in the 34th minute when Pablo Fornals headed home a Carlos Bacca cross (with a diving header, beautiful!!)
Villarreal allowed Celta a lot of possession as the match went on—as a measure of this, the Submarine had five shots counting the goal—after that we had only three to Celta’s seven. However, the absence of Iago Aspas really told in this one; Celta just didn’t have a lot of consistent quality up front in this match.
We were fortunate that Emre Mor’s shot deflected off a post after going between Asenjo’s legs, and fortunate too that just as the match ended, Sergi Gomez missed the goal with his header. But then, the mark of a good team is that they eke out wins like this. Asenjo and Bacca were the biggest stars for us today, but the good news was the central defensive pairing of Ruiz and Alvaro was steady.
Bacca came off holding his hamstring again—hopefully he will be fit and ready for Valencia. Jaume Costa, who played well despite being bruised and battered, picked up his fifth yellow card and will miss the derby, which as a Valencia native and ex-cantera man, he will feel sorry about.
Highlights are here: