Villarreal defeated Osasuna 4-1 at El Sadar today to pull within three points of Real Sociedad and Atleti (who play Depor in Galicia tomorrow). The Yellow Submarine struck in the second minute—A Cedric Bakambu shot from a tight angle was saved but fell to Roberto Soriano, who fired the ball home. Osasuna had looked dangerous on the flanks after that, particularly Sergio Leon down our left wing, but Villarreal doubled its lead thanks to a clear trip on Roberto Soriano in the penalty area.
Roberto Soldado took the penalty while the referee was still lecturing the players on staying outside the box, and keeper Sirigu saved it; however, since Gonzalez Gonzalez hadn’t blown his whistle, he demanded the penalty be retaken, and this time Soldado converted it.
HT Osasuna 0-2 Villarreal
In the first fifteen minutes Villarreal had three chances to add to their lead, at least—Sirigu came out to deny Bakambu twice and Soldado had a chance as well. The Submarine were controlling things and a third goal looked certain, but a long Osasuna pass forward found Sergio Leon, he maneuvered on the edge of the box to Andres’s left, and Mateo Musacchio went for the ball but appeared to get Leon instead. At any rate, Gonzalez Gonzalez through so, and Roberto Torres converted the penalty. Now it was 2-1, and Osasuna had life.
Oriol Riera missed a sitter off a corner that should have tied it, and Sergio Leon appealed for another penalty against Musacchio (or maybe Alvaro—they were both there) and the ref waved play on. Roberto Soriano passed the ball forward into space, Santos Borré, who had recently come on for Soldado, ran onto it and lashed a quick right-footed shot past Sirigu. And he wasn’t done, adding our fourth goal of the night—again, just running onto a long ball forward, this one from Musacchio after we were awarded a free kick.
Somewhere in all of that action—when it was still 2-1— Cedric Bakambu scored but the goal was waved off, I assume for offside but no one seemed really sure why. Santos Borré nearly got a third just as the match ended, trying to poke home the rebound after Jonathan dos Santos crashed a shot against the crossbar, but Sirigu wasn’t having any of it.
FT Osasuna 1-4 Villarreal
After all the incidents of the Madrid match and Asenjo’s injury, it was great to see the team respond. Of course, a second-minute goal always helps, but we got some great interplay from Soriano, Soldado and Bakambu, Andrés played well in goal, and for the most part our defense looked comfortable. Jaume Costa did come off for an injury but he seemed angry to be substituted, so maybe it was nothing.
As for Osasuna, they won’t lose any ground on Sporting Gijon, at least, whom Barcelona thrashed 6-1, but with only 10 points from 25 matches, and already 9 points from safety, they’re done. No surprise really, given that they came through the Segunda playoffs to get promoted last season, and have tried to make it without having any money to spend.