Real Sociedad – Villarreal: Uninspired Villarreal Can’t Score Once Again (1-0)

It was another disappointing outing for Unai Emery’s Villarreal, and they made it very clear that they are nothing without Gerard Moreno. Real Sociedad looked lively throughout the match, and once they weathered down Villarreal’s defense in the first half they never looked back.

Tactical analysis and match report by Charlie Tuley

Imanol Alguacil’s Real Sociedad have been on a roll lately, having won their last four matches across all competitions. They currently sit atop their Europa League group (above Manchester United), and came into LaLiga Matchday 8 placed seventh in the league. They have done well in the absence of talisman Mikel Oyarzabal, who they lost to a cruciate ligament tear back in March. 

Alguacil lined up his side in his favored 4-1-3-2 formation, with Álex Remiro in goal, and Alex Sola, Aritz Elustondo, Jon Pacheco, and Aihen Muñoz making up the back four. Martín Zubimendi was the lone pivot in midfield, with Brais Méndez, David Silva, and Mikel Merino ahead of him. Takefusa Kubo and Alexander Sørloth led the line together for the hosts.

Though they have only lost one match this season, Villarreal are still plagued by the low-scoring draws that cost them so many points this season. They have won all of their matches in the Conference League, but they have drawn three of their first seven matches this season in LaLiga. Unai Emery is still trying to improve his side’s consistency and ruthlessness, but the recent injury to Gerard Moreno has not helped his efforts.

As per usual, Villarreal lined up in a 4-4-2 . . .

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Charlie Tuley is a junior studying sport management at the University of Michigan. He currently works as a data analyst for the San Jose Earthquakes, and does freelance football analytics on Twitter under the name @analyticslaliga. [ View all posts ]

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