A solid, serious, efficient Villarreal notched up another victory at the Madrigal (2-0) thanks to a brace from Uche against a Mirandes side, who despite their bravery, were unable to withstand the pressure of a home side that hit them twice when it hurt most, in the early minutes of each half. A vital win for the Yellows and one that keeps them in the league's high zone and keeps up the pressure on the other teams at the top end of the table.
Both sides started with a degree of timidness. Well armed at the back, both sides looked to gain superiority of the midfield early on to create danger but it was not until the 11th minute that the first real chance of the match was created. And how!
Pandiani stole the ball in the centre before finding Bruno, who spotting an unmarked Uche ahead, slid through an inch perfect pass through to the Nigerian who beat Goitia with a fierce low cross shot from the edge of the area to put the Yellows 1-0 up.
The goal was just what the game needed. With Villarreal comfortable and Mirandes now obliged to come out of their shell, both sides went looking for the spaces to create danger although both defences continued to hold the upper hand. In the 18th minute a Marcos Senna corner was met by Bruno who sent his header just past the post.
Villarreal were enjoying themselves more with every attack but Mirandes wre not to be out shone and with their strong central midfield went in search of Marino's goal. With 28 minutes a melee in the area finished when Cani latched on to a rebound only for his fierce low shot to strike an unsuspecting defender and deflect wide.
And with the game at its quietest, Uche, very busy throughout the game, had two great chances in quick succession. First he launched himself at a cross from Pandiani only for an alert Goitia to save his effort and then twisting and turning around the edge of the six yard box before hitting his effort just wide.
But with just three minutes of the second half played the Nigerian striker finally received just reward for his perseverance. Marcos Senna's hit a perfect free kick on the left and the quicksilver Uche was fastest to react hitting home the rebound following Goitia's save to make it 2-0.
In the following minutes after a good effort from distance from Marcos Senna the game opened up as Mirandes launched themselves forward as they looked to reduce the arrears. But the match also became more physical, something that translated itself into constant interruptions in play. The entry of Trigueros and Cavenaghi breathed new life into the Yellows as they went for it in the closing ten minutes.
With 82 minutes played, Uche was on the verge of scoring a carbon copy of his first goal, this time following a great pass from Truyols, this time rounding Goitia only to see his goal bound effort met by a last gasp clearance off the line by Caneda. In the end a well deserved three points for Julio Velazquez's side who keep up the fight for the table's top places.
Villarreal: Marino; Javi Venta, Musacchio, Mellberg (Truyols, 58'), Jaume Costa; Cani (Trigueros, 74'), Marcos Senna, Bruno, Moi Gomez; Uche and Pandiani (82').
Mirandes: Goitia; Iribas, Caneda, Aitor Blanco, Raul Garcia; Rayco (Alain, 57'), Ivan Agustin (Mikel Martins, 46'), Javi Soria, Cases (Goiria, 72'); Muneta and Diaz de Cerio.
Goals: 1-0, min. 11: Uche. 2-0, min. 48: Uche.
Referee: Jose Luis Lesma Lopez (Madrid Society) Yellow cards for Villarreal's Cani (31') and Jaume Costa (80'), and Cesar Caneda (27'), Inbas (49'), Alain (59') and Raul Garcia (78') for Mirandes.