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Villarreal have flipped perceptions within two weeks after top four-esc performances

Unai Emery’s men, led by Arnaut Danjuma, are starting to play the way we expected them to.

Villarreal CF v Real Betis - LaLiga Santander Photo by Maria Jose Segovia/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Villarreal suddenly appear a very different prospect following two impressive weeks.

The Yellow Submarine had put together a sloppy start to this season, kicking off with a home draw against Granada and drawing the two games after that heading into the first international break.

The draws continued after the break, too, Unai Emery’s men having to settle for a point against each of Atalanta and Mallorca.

But something changed around two weeks ago when Villarreal made easy work of Elche at home, winning 4-1.

And by the time they rocked up at the Santiago Bernabeu to face a Real Madrid side that had previously won five straight games across all competitions, it felt as though everything had changed.

An excellent performance followed, the Yellows deserving far more than the point they had to settle for, and it was a similar story at Old Trafford.

Emery’s men went toe-to-toe with Manchester United and were extremely unfortunate to come off second best, at least in terms of the scoreline.

Though, across the 90 minutes or more, Villarreal once again left a fanbase and a community proud, proving they were ready to compete at Champions League level.

And after that crushing late defeat to United, it was time to prove it in La Liga against a Real Betis side Villarreal will have to better if they want to finish in the top four or top six.

Betis had only lost three times all year heading into the tie, but the Yellows made easy work of them.

It was an inspired performance from Arnaut Danjuma and, it must be said, most of his teammates.

Emery’s men put on their best performance yet, not only showing they can compete with good teams but showing the killer instinct that has often been missing, and without any recognised strikers.

Even in the absence of Gerard Moreno, Paco Alcacer and Boulaye Dia, who all missed the game through injury, Villarreal put on one of the best performances of the weekend across La Liga.

Suddenly, within the space of two weeks, Villarreal have gone from draw specialists to a team who look like they have the quality to challenge for a top four spot.

For now, it’s one step at a time as Emery looks to ensure his team maintain this level of performance, something that should be possible given the likes of Gerard, Samu Chukwueze and others are close to a return.

But the feeling heading into this international break could not be more different from that of the first, around a month ago, and suddenly, Villarreal look a scary prospect.