With Sevilla coming off a four-goal fest last week and Villarreal featuring an attack of Gerard, Toko Ekambi and Bacca, you probably could have gotten very long odds on a 0-0 scoreline, but that’s exactly how it ended today.
Villarreal set out its troops in a 4-3-1-2 with Santi Cazorla playing behind Gerard and Ekambi, with Fornals and Trigueros flanking Caceres in midfield. Last year’s favored pairing, Alvaro and Victor Ruiz, were in the middle of defense.
In spite of the 0-0 scoreline, this was a wide open affair, with Sevilla trying 19 shots and Villarreal 14, though most were on target. Sevilla’s MOTM was definitely their goalkeeper, Tomas Vaclik. He denied both our frontmen on numerous occasions.
For Villarreal, step forward, Santiago Caceres! Seven tackles, good ball distribution, just excellent. AndLooking ahead: Victor Ruiz had a fine game too.
The big negative was the injury to Sevilla’s Sergio Escudero, who suffered at least adislocated elbow after falling heavily on his arm. Ben Yedder, who replaced him, rifled a shot off the post in injury time, but it would have been hard on either side to have come away with nothing.
On balance, a point we may well like to have, since Sevilla and us could be competing for a European spot and it could come down to goal difference.
Villarreal’s MOTM (WhoScored): Victor Ruiz
Mine: Santy Caceres
Negatives: Ekambi needs that first goal to turn him loose. Had some chances today, his three shots on target led both sides (Sevilla only had two in total).
Looking ahead: We host Pablo Machin’s former team, Girona, on FRIDAY at home. Need to pick up three points from this, then it will feel as though we are moving ahead on all cylinders. Endavant Villarreal!!