Alphonse Areola has himself a place in the Villarreal CF record books. Yesterday the French goalkeeper broke the record broke for the number of minutes he has kept a clean sheet in LaLiga against Celta (0-0), racking up 590 minutes of play without conceding a goal, a record formerly held by Diego López with 540 minutes since the 2007/08 season.
The young goalkeeper, of 23 years, has been the indisputable starter between the posts for Villarreal since his arrival in the summer, starting all league games and performing brilliantly. The French goalkeeper, of Philippine descent, played two seasons in the Paris Saint-Germain reserve team before moving up to the first team. The previous three seasons he had served, still belonging to the Parisian side, for both RC Lens and SC Bastia on loan. Last summer, again on loan, he came to Villarreal CF.
In the current campaign, Areola has accumulated 2,430 minutes of play in LaLiga distributed over 27 matches (all of which he has started) and has only conceded 18 goals in that time (0.6 goals per game). With him between the posts, Villarreal is the second team to be least scored on in LaLiga, only beaten by Atlético de Madrid (11 goals against). Throughout this season, Areola has kept a clean sheet in 14 of 27 league matches. Very impressive.
In the UEFA Europa League, Areola also played the two Round of 32 ties against Napoli, letting in only one goal in 180 minutes courtesy of Hamsik.