Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Match Report Villarreal 2 Almeria 0

Villarreal 2 (Catala 22, Valero 58) – Almeria 0

Villarreal continued their excellent home form with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Almeria.

The yellow submarine moved five points clear in third place thanks to a goal either side of the break from Jose Manuel Catala and Borja Valero.

The home side controlled the game throughout with the excellent quartet of Valero, Santi Cazorla, Cani and Bruno dominating the midfield. Up front, the absence of top scorer Nilmar was occasionally apparent as his replacement Marco Ruben failed to replicate the intricate link-up play that the Brazilian and his strike-partner Guiseppe Rossi have shown so far this season. However, the Argentine did show enough in patches to suggest that manager Juan Carlos Garrido shouldn’t feel the need to rush back Nilmar from his recovery after knee surgery earlier this week.

Following a disjointed opening Villareal took control. Cazorla tested Diego Alves, once again Almeria’s outstanding performer, with a fierce drive form the edge of the area before the opening goal arrived on 22 minutes.

Valero fired over a beautifully dipping free-kick from the left and, with three Villareal players waiting to apply the final touch, Catala headed in off the bar.

Rossi nearly doubled the lead but was denied by Alves five minutes before half-time, while at the other end Diego Lopez had to be alert to save from a Miguel Angel Corona free-kick.

In the second-half the hosts sat back a little more, allowing Almeria more possession but with only Kalu Uche leading the attack the visitors lacked any real cutting edge. Indeed despite having less of the ball it was no surprise when Villarreal doubled their lead. The goal again came from a Borja Valero free-kick, this time a direct shot, that floated over the wall and in off Alves’ right-hand post.

Alves again denied Cazorla and Rossi with excellent saves but to no avail as the hosts ran out comfortable winners.

Victory moved Villarreal back five points ahead of fourth-placed Valencia while Almeria remain marooned in the relegation zone.

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