Villarreal performed a version of the Great Escape today at the Sanchez Pijuan. Making the most of our chances hardly begins to cover it:
Shots Sevilla 24 Villarreal 9
Shots On goal Sevilla 5 Villarreal 3
Corners Sevilla 14 Villarreal 2
Possession: Sevilla 72%, Villarreal 28%
Touches: Banega 121, Navas 110, Reguilon 104. Villarreal’s highest was 55 (Mario), and five other Sevilla players had more than that.
Couple of takeaways:
(1) Sevilla’s forwards....aren’t very good. (h/t to Jiwonsi). Sevilla attacked as expected; Reguilon and Navas pumping in tons of crosses, Banega controlling the ball in midfield. But as long as Villarreal had time to position themselves to defend the onslaught, they were fine. Iborra as a defensive midfielder in front of Pau and Albiol, with Anguissa and Trigueros adding support, and Mario and Quintillà competing on the wings, did pretty well. For all those touches from the wings, Luuk de Jong (and Chicharito, who replaced him just before the hour mark) had 26 touches and 2 shots.
(2) Sevilla’s goal came from one of the few counterattacks they had. Samu Chukwueze, Gerard and Anguissa all got caught upfield and Sevilla took advantage of that—Reguilon crossed the ball to Munir who found a gap between our still re-forming lines.
(3) Villarreal took advantage of a set piece. The first goal came from a corner kick, Trigueros putting the ball on the head of Mario at the near post and he headed it to Albiol at the far post. Our first goal off a corner since at Osasuna, when Pau had a tap-in.
(4) The winning goal was due to a great run by Trigueros—and a pass from Moi. Sevilla found themselves having to play defense for the first time in awhile, and it showed. Credit to Trig for the pass back to Toko Ekambi, and credit to him for hitting the target!
(5) Subs were interesting but worked. Samu was yanked shortly after the turnover that led to their goal; Toko Ekambi gave us a similar runner. Peña for Gerard was interesting because Rubén was almost more of an upfront player but still battled with Navas; Funes Mori for Trigueros was clearly defensive. FM did win a high ball in the area, I think the on;y time he touched the ball.
This is the type of match that so often we have come out with nothing, so it felt great to bring home the three points today. It’s Villarreal’s 300th win in the Primera, btw.
MOTM: Manu Trigueros. Pretty much everybody else played well, I guess I would say Iborra and Albiol next best.
Next up, Comillas in the Copa on Wednesday; then we host high-flying Getafe on Saturday.