Villarreal – Sevilla FC: Unrested Sevilla Cannot Breach The Yellow Wall (3-0)
Thanks to better pressing, better finishing, and some tired Sevillan legs, Villarreal managed to win their first league game since November. Despite not producing a tactical master class or playing Sevilla off the pitch, this might spark Villarreal’s season back into life as they look to claw their way out of the relegation zone.
Tactical analysis and match report by Erik Elias.
La Liga has a very large and competitive mid-table section this season, but both of these clubs are not really in it. Going into this match, Sevilla were fourth, while Villarreal were nineteenth and had not won a game of football since late November.
Football clubs sometimes are guilty of blatant amateurism, and Villarreal have been one of this year’s prime examples. You have probably read this somewhere else already, but they recently employed the same manager they fired in early December: Javier Calleja.
Under his guidance, Villarreal started the match against Sevilla in a 3-5-2 formation, with veteran defender Daniele Bonera getting some minutes as the middle center-back, for unknown reasons. The midfield trio Santiago Cáseres, Santi Cazorla, and Vicente Iborra is a fine mix of young and old and technique skill, vision and grit. Up top, Carlos Bacca and Karl Toko Ekambi acted as the strike-duo.
Having won a midweek Europa League clash against Lazio, Sevilla came into this game significantly less rested than Villarreal. Seven of the players that saw action in the Stadio Olimpico would feature in this match. They lined up in a formation that had three central defenders . . .