We needed a routine win and that’s exactly what we got. Good work by everyone involved, that might be the most comfortable we’ve looked in a 442 so far this season. I’ll give some quick impressions on the performances I saw, and you can let me know if you disagree in the comments.
I thought both strikers did very well even though neither scored. Paco was pretty involved by his standards and found an assist along the way. I also think his run is what opened the space in the middle of the box on the Samu goal. Gerard looked healthy, that’s the main thing. Had a wonderful strike in the first half saved then was robbed of a goal that should have rightly been his in the second half. Good in possession as usual.
Samu actually played a little defense today, and he and Moi switched flanks routinely which I think confused Valladolid. Both men made late runs into the box that led to chances from each (including Samu’s goal). Moi was great on set piece delivery today.
Iborra and Trigueros were solid if a bit unremarkable in the center. I think their job today was just to keep things secure so that we could do damage on the perimeter. No major mistakes by either but nothing special either. That’s fine. Probably rate Mario’s performance in a similar light?
Pedraza was wonderful today, and Estupinan looked fit when he came on. I feel really confident about our left back position right now.
Last season, I felt like Albiol was the stronger of our CBs but that’s firmly Pau’s domain now. Strong on the ball, scored a goal, and solid in defense.
We’ll get our usual detailed analysis of Kubo’s performance later this week, but a very standard display from him. Some really bright moments, a positional wild card that’s impossible to predict, and bad giveaways, one of which led to a Valladolid chance.
Unai Emery has done a good job in early days as manager of Villarreal. He has his team right where it needs to be at this point of the season.