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Villarreal pick up a vital three points at the Calderón

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1-0 through Roberto Soriano.

Club Atletico de Madrid v Villarreal CF - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Villarreal came away with a smash-and-grab 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid today, a key win that keeps the Yellow Submarine four points ahead of Athletic Club in the race for fifth, the Basques now with a game in hand.

Fran Escribá went with an upfront pairing of Adrian Lopez and Nicola Sansone, put Rukavina at right back, but otherwise it was pretty much our regular starting XI out there. The man of the match was unquestionably Andrés Fernandez, who came up with a number of saves in the first half especially to keep things even.

Villarreal began to come more into the match in the last 25 minutes, as Roberto Soriano and then Cedric Bakambu were introduced. In the 81st minute Bakambu pounced on a miscontrolled ball by Felipe Luis, ran down the right, and crossed for an onrushing Soriano, who pretty much knocked it in with his knee. Hey, at least it wasn’t his hand!!

Villarreal defended well and ran out 1-0 victors, not without picking up a raft of yellow cards late on. Mario Musacchio will be suspended for Friday’s match against Sporting Gijon at the Ceramica, so hopefully Victor Ruiz is able to go.

Highlights are here.