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Espanyol 3-1 Villarreal: the story stays the same

Villarreal v Real Madrid - La Liga
We haven’t seen enough of this this season.
Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Villarreal lost 3-1 to Espanyol today in what could be the last match with Javi Calleja in charge. Apparently he has received the dreaded “vote of confidence”, with the club heading into the international break in 16th place and one point away from relegation.

The story today was pretty much as we have seen in recent matches: midfield was controlled by the opposition, so numerous chances were created. Depending on how you count, Espanyol had between 20 and 28 total shots, of which 12 were on target. And—just as on Thursday—Villarreal were unable to hold off the oppostion late—Espanyol’s Darder and Piatti both scored in the last 10+ minutes of the match.

A lot of criticism for Gerard Moreno on his return to Espanyol, and sure, he missed a good scoring chance and was not that active in the match, but the problems run deeper than one player at this point.

Yet again, why sign Iturra if you never play him? Why continue to play a subpar Trigueros? Why substitute Ekambi, not Gerard? These are perhaps not entirely the coach’s choices, dictated in some way by the makeup of the roster, but when Whoscored’s five top-rated players are all from the opposition, things are not good.

Endavant, but with Calleja or no?