Juan Garrido's team reclaim third spot in La Liga...
Juan Garrido’s Villarreal came from a goal down to register a 2-1 victory over Real Sociedad thanks to a brace via Giuseppe Rossi that has reclaimed them third spot in La Liga.
Villarreal started the game brightly and the influence of Borja Valero and Santiago Cazorla in particular within the midfield quartet were orchestrating the Yellow Submarine’s rhythm going forward. Cazorla produced a marvellous piece of endeavour as he made the most of an advantage after initially being bundled to the floor but sprung to his feet and produced a spectacular left-footed effort from just outside the ‘D’ that had Claudio Bravo in goal scrambling to his right. The Chilean stopper got the faintest of touches but the ball was seemingly creeping wide beforehand.
Soceidad themselves were starting to a get a foothold in the game and nearly inadvertently took the lead thanks to Dani Estrada who hooked the ball back into Villarreal’s penalty area with the it subsequently rattling off a startled Diego Lopez’s crossbar. The cry of surprise around El Madrigal was evidently heard.
The men in blue and white conjured up a terrific piece of attacking play on the 20 minute mark as Antoine Griezmann worked his magic down the left to cut inside the penalty-area and his low driven cross into the mire had the Villarreal defence scrambling to deny Mikel Aranburu’s close-range effort. Giuseppe Rossi immediately broke forward for the hosts on the counter-attack and his curling effort via his left foot after cutting inside from the right was superbly saved by Bravo.
The game was becoming rather end to end with numerous half chances being created. Borja Valero beautifully nutmegged Diego Rivas before ushering towards goal only to see his low driven effort blocked by the legs of Bravo and subsequently blasting the rebound over the bar.
It was the visitors who took the lead a minute before the half-hour mark thanks to a Diego Lopez own goal. The stopper was extremely unfortunate as Mikel Aranburu’s looping header clipped the crossbar before hitting the back of his head and trickling into the net. Terrific cross from Estrado in the build-up that was headed back across goal by Joseba Llorente for an advanced Aranburu to leap above his marker and head goal-wards.
Villarreal however were back on terms thanks to Rossi who struck minutes before the interval. Cazorla delivered a pinpoint pass into the feet of the Italian who smashed the ball home inside the penalty area. Credit to Cazorla whose awareness to spot his team mate was exceptional and a stunning finish to round it off.
Both were at it again a minute into the second period as they produced a carbon copy of the goal to put Villarreal into the lead. Cazorla did brilliantly to retrieve the ball from Xabi Preieto in the opposition’s half and sliced the Sociedad defence in two with a neat through ball into the path of the Italian who diligently flicked the ball over an onrushing Bravo and into the net. It was a beautifully crafted goal by the home side.
Cazorla was becoming a predominant figure in the game and went ever so close to making it three as he rattled the crossbar with a deflected shot after more interplay with Rossi in the opposition’s half.
La Real felt hard done by as they felt they should of been awarded a penalty on the hour after a coming together between Mateo Musacchio and substitute Jeffrey Sarpong. There did seem to be minimal contact but referee Cesar Fernandez felt the Dutchman went to ground too easily and subsequently booked him.
Villarreal continued to conjure up a number of chances with Rossi and Cani going close to making it 3-1 but in the end their one goal margin was enough to claim all three points against a plucky Sociedad side. The Yellow Submarine have regained third spot in the table with Sociedad remaining in 11th place.Follow Goal.com on to get the latest soccer news directly. Check out Goal.com's page; be part of the best soccer fan community in the world!