Villarreal got off to a dream start with a first-minute goal from Carlos Bacca, but couldn’t make it hold up and drew 2-2 against Glasgow Rangers in an Europa League group match today.
The Yellows lined up in a 4-4-2 with Funes Mori and Fornals in the pivote, and A through ball to Bacca immediately resulted in a goal. The first half was pretty much all Villarreal, outshooting Rangers 8-0; however, few of the shots were on target.
The second half started out much the same way, and Villarreal missed multiple chances to add to their lead, with both Ekambi and Sansone missing open net opportunities. For some reason Calleja decided to go back to his favorite diamond midfield and pull off Funes Mori, and almost immediately, Rangers scored through Scott Arfield.
Gerard Moreno almost immediately gave Villarreal the lead back (Santi Cazorla picking up the assist) but another Rangers break with fifteen minutes left exposed our slow central defense yet again and Kyle Lafferty equalized.
Villarreal outshot Rangers 19 to 5 and controlled possession 58-42, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t convert your chances—only 4 of those 19 shots were on target.
The Yellow Submarine continues their confusing mix of play versus results. In the 4-4-2 we should have been 2 or 3 goals up within the hour, but once we changed formation with Manu Trigueros at the back of the diamond we had no control in midfield.
In the other group match, Rapid Vienna won 2-0 at home versus Spartak Moscow. We couldn’t really afford to drop two points at home against the weakest member of our group, but it looks like that is what we have done.
Ahead to Valencia (at home) on Sunday, then, and hopefully coach Calleja will look at this match and realize we need to play 4-4-2 with our current personnel.
The good: Cazorla, Bacca, Fornals, Funes Mori...
The bad: Bonera (who looked his age today, constantly a step or two slow), Andrés Fernandez, Toko Ekambi.
The ugly: Watching Manu Trigueros trying to be Rodri. He’s a good player but that is not his role.