As expected a tentative but physical match as both sides fought for dominance in midfield. The first main chance came 3 minutes in from Moi Gomez. The left winger cut through the Atletico defence with a beautiful dribble. His shot failed to catch Oblak of guard as Slovenian grasped the ball.
18 Minutes in, after scramble in the box, the ball fell to Mario Gaspar. The Villarreal captain unleashed a volley which Oblak palmed over post for a Villarreal corner.
Chances were few and far between in the final 15 minutes of the half. Villarreal were strong defencively and were arguably the stronger team as the sides went in for half time.
As the teams came out for the second half Atlético began to dominate. Albiol and Pau Torres proved yet again why they are one of the best defencive pairs in La Liga. If Juan Foyth does arrive at Villarreal he will find it hard to displace either player.
50 minutes in a beautiful through ball from Gerrard. Mario was through on goal only for it to be saved by the Atletico Keeper.
Both Suarez and Alcacer failed to make any impact on the game and both were subbed around the the 75th minute mark. Their replacements Samu and Diego Costa had even less luck in the way of chances with the game ending in a 0-0 draw.
Fair to say that Mario was arguably Villarreal’s best player. Gerrard was dominant as ever pulling of flicks and passes. The Catalan certainly deserves his place in the National squad after his start to the season so far.
It was Mario however who had all the chances and for most Villarreal fans is the Man of the match in what was a lifeless draw. The last 2 games have more than made up for his Barcelona disaster. A common factor in both those games was he had protection in front of him.
On to Villarreal’s next match against rivals Valencia on the 18th of October