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On the spot report: Villarreal impressive in disciplined victory

Three massive points at a difficult ground

Real Betis v Villarreal CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

VIllarreal produced a fine performance to see off a high flying Real Betis at the Benito Vilamarin stadium, although the fitness of Gerard Moreno is a concern.

A tight start saw Paco Alcacer come close with an early effort, before both sides defended well in a fiery affair.

Villarreal were then struck a massive blow as Gerard Moreno departed the pitch for Manu Trigueros early on, and the striker was visibly frustrated as he seems to have picked up a calf injury during his return.

However, it was only upwards from there. Chukwueze caused problems down the right hand side, and in the 41st minute the visitors found the breakthrough.

Alberto Moreno whipped in a fantastic corner, and both centre backs Raul Albiol and Pau Torres were unmarked in the box. Pau sent a powerful header goalwards, and despite Rui Silva getting a palm to it, the ball found the back of the net.

At the start of the second period, Villarreal thought they had scored a stunning second, as Etienne Capoue’s absurdly good through ball found Chukwueze to put it through Silva’s legs, but the winger was offside.

Villarreal then put in a disciplined performance in the second half, barely giving Betis any space in the box, but this nearly went badly wrong.

Borja Iglesias fired a powerful shot at Serge Aurier, and the referee awarded a penalty for a handball by Aurier. VAR showed how ridiculous the decision was, given that Aurier had tucked his arms in, and the decision was overruled.

It seemed to be Villarreal’s night, with the midfield showing great composure throughout, and it was a midfielder who sealed the victory in style.

Capoue picked up the ball from Trigueros outside the box, and fired a rocket into the top right corner. It was a magnificent goal and it capped off an utterly flawless performance from Capoue, who was a rock in midfield all game.

Giovani Lo Celso came on for his Villarreal debut against his former club late on, and played a silky pass to Yeremy Pino, who nearly set the returning Danjuma up for a third goal.

This was an excellent three points for the Yellow Submarine, but Gerard’s availability will be a concern. Real Madrid at home are up next, and now 6th in the table, 5 points off Real Betis in third, the next few weeks could be crucial to seeing how well the team finishes the season.

If the team can play with that level of composure and discipline against Real Madrid and Juventus, there’s no reason why they can’t get a result.