Villarreal brushed aside Segunda B competition in the form of Zamora, winning 4-1 in FRONT OF REAL FANS!!! At least, I think they were; it looked as if most of the people in the seats had brought their entire winter wardrobe to see them through. The pitch was pretty much as frozen as the fans, and after 10 minutes the ref’s audio equipment succumbed to the cold. Fortunately, the Yellows did not.
Étienne Capoué made his debut in midfield, and looked fine though he did not have a lot to do. Carlos Bacca gave us the lead after half an hour from a Samu assist, and the first half was full of chances; not only had Bacca contrived to miss an open net, but Samu Chukwueze had rounded the keeper and somehow not got a shot off until the keeper recovered....and somewhere in here Yeremy Pino had nearly scored, Alex Baena had a one-on-one saved, and Samu hit a post.
Yeremy made it 2-0 in the 43rd minute, courtesy of a fine long pass from Juan Foyth, and a brilliant cutback and low shot that nestled just inside the near post, bringing much applause from the fans in attendance. And they made even more noise when in first-half injury time their player Carlos Ramos scored a 35-yard golazo—a screamer just inside the corner of the goal that keeper Rulli had no chance on.
The second half was not quite as incident-filled, but it took until the 73rd minute for Fer Niño to notch a third goal, off a Moi Gomez corner. And with two minutes remaining, Moi put Dani Raba through on goal and he notched our fourth.
A good win, no injuries I’m aware of, and very little action for our first-choice players: Pervis Estupiñan played 90 minutes, Parejo, Moi and Manu Trigueros played half an hour, and Jaume Costa and Samu an hour. Battling JC was our captain, and when he came off, Ramiro Funes Mori took the armband, surely a first!
And yes, these are the sorts of matches you should win, but—as Celta and Getafe can testify today—you don’t always. So enjoy and look forward to the round of 16 draw on January 8.
OOPS, forgot the highlights: