The first round of the Copa del Rey threw up no surprises for Villarreal as they coasted to a comfortable 6-0 win over the part-timers of SD Leioa. The Basque side didn’t have a lot to offer on a rainy, muddy, mess of a pitch, and Villarreal pretty much ended any chances of an upset with two early goals.
That said, while there haven’t been any real cup shocks so far (a few matches are ongoing as I write this) several teams had to come from behind to win, so being able to enjoy a bit of a laugher was a nice thing. And it was also nice to give playing time to some of our players who don’t see much action—we even had a Dani Raba sighting!
Probably the most interesting talking point was the use of Juan Foyth as a defensive midfielder. I can’t say as he had a lot to do, and he seemed tentative at times, but he didn’t get us into any problems either (a certain compatriot might take note). Other than that, it was good to see Jaume Costa out there and scoring a goal, and Chakla the same, while Fer Niño has evidently been working with Carlos Bacca on rounding the keeper!
And fair play to SD Leioa. The weather conditions were atrocious, but everyone did their best to adjust to the conditions. Their little ground has quite a nice view of the Bilbao estuary and I also liked the trees surrounding one end of the pitch.
Also, a bit of trivia here—SD Leioa has, would you believe it, NEVER been relegated (at least, not since 1978, which was as far back as I could find records in a quick search). They worked their way from the 7th tier in 1978 through to the 3rd tier in 2014-15 and have remained there since.
Highlights of the match are here.