Villarreal make it 3 wins in 3 after a 3 month break. Overall it was a pretty solid performance from Villarreal. Set out in a 4 4 2 formation with fresh looking Gerard and an enigmatic Bacca leading the way.
The match started even across the park with what looked like battle of midfields. It was Granada who would have the first chance in the 6th minute. A wicked cross in from Fede Vico, typical chance by former yellow Soldado as he sneaks in at the far post. Asenjo pulls of possibly the save of the new season.
After a scrappy 15 minutes Villarreal got their first chance of the match which they harnessed to devastating affect. From an overhead pass from Pena, Gerrard was through on goal and slotted the ball outside of his boot into the bottom corner. Great to see Gerard scoring again and he proved to be just as dynamic throughout the match.
Towards half time Granada had been the most dominant in front of goal with some fine chances from the likes of Yan Puertas and Fede Vico. Villarreal only real second chance was milometers wide as Javi Ontiveros shot was deflected just over the post.
Villarreal held on until half time keeping strong possession and holding their own in the midfield. As they returned for the second half it appeared that Calleja had learned from the previous games. Without changing the formation, he brought on Samu, Alcacer and Zambo. It was clear Villarreal were pressing for another goal.
Virtual fans didn’t have long to wait for a chance. Gerard Moreno and Alcacer proved that the 442 works for Villarreal. Gerard was through on goal and in a typical FIFA style goal. squared it across to a sprinting Alcacer to hit the side of the post.
It’s fair to say that in the last 20 minutes of the game Granada were the more attacking threat. Villarreal were content to sit back and welcome the attack. Santi was introduced to provide a spark while Villarreal were left waiting for Bruno’s return.
Despite the controversy this will cause, Chakla for me was one of our better players. Calm and cool and rarely made any errors. Not P Torres standard but a worthy substitute compared to Funes Mori. Albiol was flawless in defence as usual where as Ruben Pena clearly had a point to prove.
Alberto Moreno brought a few question marks for fans. His marking was questionable, but his energy can’t be faulted. Fans will be happy to see he has now played 3 games without being injured. He seems to struggle with the 4 4 2 as he it reduces his attacking threat much the same as Samu being forced to play on the wings.
If there were flights actually flying over Spain pilots would have been worried. In final minutes Alcacer was through on goal and somehow managed sky rocket the ball practically out the stadium. To put it politely Nasa would have been proud of that take off.
Granada will count themselves as unlucky as neither side produced good enough football to earn the title of best team. Sometimes in football you need to churn out the 1-0 victories. Villarreal are certainly doing that. As it stands, we are level on points with Getafe and Real Sociedad. Result go our way and Villarreal will go into fifth.