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Villarreal edge closer to survival after season to forget
- Updated: 3 May, 2012
Villarreal picked up three crucial points at Gijon’s El Molinon on Tuesday and now stand on the brink of survival with two matches to go. Three consecutive 1-1 draws for the Yellow Submarine had given Sporting hope, but the visitors came out and took the game to Javier Clemente’s side, going ahead with a goal from Mario Gaspar.
Although Sporting equalised with a shot from the top of the box shortly before halftime, Marcos Senna confidently converted a penalty after Gregory had taken down Marco Ruben in the area to restore Villarreal’s lead just three minutes later.
In the second half Hernan Perez gave Villarreal a two-goal lead, which seemed unassailable until with five minutes left Cristian Zapata made a hash of a header and Galvez scored a goal to give Sportinghope. In the remaining time Clemente and Villarreal’s substitute goalkeeper Cesar were both sent off, four yellow cards were shown (two to each team), fans threw all sorts of debris at the referee and Villarreal players, but when the dust had cleared Villarreal had an incredibly valuable three points.
As opposed to recent matches where Lotina employed a 4-2-3-1 starting formation, this was more of a 4-3-3 with a midfield trivote of Senna, Bruno and Marchena. And yet again, Martinuccio and Nilmar saw no action, while Hernán Pérez starred yet again, If Villarreal survives, it will be in no small part due to the contributions of the Paraguyan over the last month—and if they are relegated, it will be due in no small part to Garrido’s and Molina’s refusal to play him at a time when we needed his spark!
It’s hard to believe, but under Coach Lotina Villarreal have lost only one match (at Betis) in nine matches. The problem has been too few wins and too many draws, while Zaragoza has continued to pile up improbable wins to pile on the pressure. Since Zaragoza’s two remaining opponents, already-relegated Racing and mid-table Getafe, have nothing to pay for, the Submarine needs three points.
It will be hard to get those three points against Valencia, though and interestingly, ex-Valencia stars Marchena and César will both miss out through suspensions. Despite the tough assignment; fans of Villarreal will be hoping they can spoil Los Che’s last home match of the season.Follow @icentrocampista