Monday, 17 January 2011

Match Report: Villarreal 4 Osasuna 2

FT: Villarreal 4 (Marco Ruben 21, Cani 50, Capdevila 65, Gonzalo 83) Osasuna 2 (Vadocz 47, Calleja 70)

Villarreal were involved in a fourth successive six goal thriller as they defeated permanently poor travellers Osasuna 4-2 at El Madrigal.

After a shaky start the hosts looked to be on course to comfortably register their ninth win from ten home league games this season when Marco Ruben, again deputising for the injured Nilmar, scored his fourth goal in four games on 21 minutes. Borja Valero the creator with a wonderful flighted cross from the left

Thereafter Villarreal largely controlled the first-half. Even without the influential Santi Cazorla their midfield again flowed and could have added more to the scoresheet with Cani being denied by Ricardo just on half-time.

However, the visitors who haven’t won away all season and won only six league games in two and a half years under coach Jose Antionio Camacho, started the second-half with a flourish and were level within two minutes. On a night when set-pieces proved crucial Javier Camuñas’ corner was nodded in at the near post by Krisztian Vadocz.

Then came the moment that this game will be remembered for. After the ball broke loose on the half-way line Cani - who had adopted a shot on sight policy all evening – used that tactic to stunning effect as he drilled the ball over Ricardo in the Osasuna goal from dead on halfway. Forget David Beckham or Xabi Alonso this was the purest strike of a ball that found the net from the halfway line I have ever seen.

Joan Capdevila added a third for the hosts from a Valero corner with 25 minutes remaining. Yet, again Osasuna punished a lack of concentration in the Villarreal defence to get back in the game five minutes later. Camuñas turning excellently, despite being surrounded by three yellow shirted defenders, before laying the ball across for Javier Calleja to volley home his first goal for the club.

Villarreal made the game safe seven minutes from time as Osasuna failed to learn their lesson from the Capedvila goal allowing Gonzalo a free header from another Valero corner. All the more frustrating for los rojillos fans will be that both goals could easily have been avoided by placing a defender on the back post.

Overall it was another successful evening for the hosts who stretched their lead over Valencia to five points. Moreover, for all the genius of Messi and Ronaldo, the yellow submarine they may already have sown up goal of the season after Cani’s majestic finish.

At the other end of the table another fruitless road trip allied to victories for Sporting and Zaragoza leave Osasuna only two points above the drop zone.

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