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The Stars of Villarreal vs Maccabi Tel Aviv

A game that looked impossible because of torrential rain was saved by La Ceramica’s ground crew.

I’ll be completely honest, about an hour before this match was supposed to start, I didn’t think we would be able to get it in yesterday. It wasn’t just raining, it was like a large pipe burst in a small enclosed space, water was absolutely everywhere, and our nickname ‘the Yellow Submarine’ was feeling more literal than ever.

First, the match was delayed by a half an hour, then a full hour, and honestly it probably didn’t kick off until quarter past 10:00pm, CET. The power at La Ceramic reportedly went out half a dozen times, and even as the pitch began to dry thanks to its modern draining system, the corners still looked terrible and there was too much water for the ball to go much of anywhere.

Then, our grounds crew took over. Working with hand tools, they went over the entire pitch, moving water to the corners and then away. Even on the areas of the pitch that looked ‘dry’ from a distance, they were pulling away large amounts of water.

Villarreal went on to win the match 4-0, thanks to a brace by Bacca, and a goal each for youngsters Baena and Fer Nino. Parejo and Iborra controlled the midfield, we had 59% possession and dominated the chances, all the sorts of things we’ve needed to do in the first two matches of this competition. None of it, however, would have happened were it not for the excellent work by our grounds crew. A huge thanks to them and full credit for their contribution to the Villarreal win. Endavant!