Villarreal and Valencia huffed and puffed their way to a scoreless draw in a very hot Ceramíca Stadium today. Valencia’s Dani Parejo was sent off just before the hour mark, but the Submarine could not find a way through the Valencia defense.
The first half featured no shots from either side actually on goal; in the second half, it was largely more of the same (two saves for Asenjo, one for Neto). Credit to the central defense of both teams, but also a lack of any real urgency or quickness in the attacking third. Villarreal’s best opportunity was an Alvaro header that went wide of the mark off a corner; Valencia had a bouncing shot from Gonzalo Guedes that Asenjo pushed safely away.
With Villarreal’s next match at San Mamés, always a difficult place for the Yellow Submarine to come away with points, the pressure on Coach Calleja continues to mount. I suppose that’s true for Marcelino, too, though Valencia’s next match is a home one against Celta Vigo—so there should be some goals, at least.
Moving Funes Mori to the pivote has strengthened our defense, perhaps, but it is surprising that a team with the goal-scoring talent we have in Bacca, Toko Ekambi and Gerard has only found the net twice in five matches. Last season we were shut out four times in our first six matches, and had only seven points; after Calleja replaced Escriba, we were shut out only five times the rest of the season.
Now, we are on five points from five; true, there has not been a display as poor as the 4-0 loss to Getafe, but displays like today’s are not going to give fans a great deal of confidence, either.