Villarreal returned home victorious after playing Cordoba away at their home ground, Nuevo Arcángel, winning 2-0. This pivotal match for the Yellow Submarines firstly demonstrated their strength in attack and then, in the second half, their resolve to defend well and hold out against an attacking team fighting to hold on to a high position in the league. Villarreal came out strong from the off and managed to defeat their close rivals for the fight for the top, thanks to a header by Mateo Musacchio and a beautiful goal by Jonathan Pereira.
The first half's objective was to take control and dominate play by approaching the game with a cool head, while concentrating on precision. The Submarines tried to find spaces calmly whilst ensuring that the players were ready to counter any attacks that may have arisen from the opposing team. However, it was Cordoba that had the first goal opportunity of the match. Juan Carlos went head to head and managed to save the on target attempt made by Rennella.
Almost immediately after, Pereira had a brilliant opportunity to score for Villarreal after receiving a great pass from Mario, but the shot from the Galician was too high and flew right over the head of the Cordoban goalie, Alberto. No matter how hard the home team tried to press forward into the Yellows defence, they responded well and made sure they were hard to break down, remaining organised and never losing concentration. These efforts were rewarded in the 26th minute when Farinós fed a beautiful cross from the corner which Musacchio converted into a goal from a perfectly placed header, putting Villarreal ahead, 0-1.
Following the goal against them, it was clear that Córdoba wanted to respond rapidly to equalise the score line, but the Yellows held fast and maintained their composure. The midfield was slightly more restrained than normal, waiting for the opposition to mount an attack rather than set their own advances to avoid being caught on the back foot. A tactic that worked well, especially as the score was in their favor.
Two minutes from the end of the first half, the Yellows intercepted a pass in the midfield and Mario acted fast, firing a long pass down into the attacking third and on to the feet of Jonathan Pereira. Pereira used his speed and managed to dodge around two following defenders and with a perfect hit, managed to score a stunning goal, which has already been hailed the goal of the season by many who saw it. The second goal meant the Yellows could relax knowing they held a strong lead going into the second half.
Forced to react, Córdoba took the lead in the second half, but the Submarines maintained their composure and kept up a tight defense, closing down the efforts of the opposition. Villarreal also had opportunities to counter, however Alberto managed to save the attempts by Uche and Pereira keeping the score at 0-2.
Córdoba were determined to try to get back into the game, firing shots at Juan Carlos's goal, but the defense remained strong limiting any real opportunities for the Andalusian side who could, no doubt, feel time slipping away from them. At the final whistle, a resounding victory ensured that the Submarine side could maintain their high position in the league table, leaving them in fifth place at the end of the weekend.
Cordoba CF: Alberto, Cristian, Kiko Olivas, Armando, Dubarbier; Garai, Pedro (Cabezas, 78 '), Abel (Fede Vico, 46'), Caballero, Lopez Silva and Rennella.
Villarreal CF: Juan Carlos, Mario, Musacchio, Dorado (Mellberg, 81 '), Jaume Costa; Farinós, Bruno, Moi Gomez, Aquino (Trigueros, 72'), Jonathan Pereira (Perbet, 65 ') and Uche.
Goals: 0-1, min. 26: Musacchio. 0-2, min. 43: Jonathan Pereira.
Referee: Garrido Vicando Iñaki (Basque Committee). Yellow cards for Armando (35 '), Dubarbier (51') and Fede Vico (92 ') for Córdoba and Moi (31'), Aquino (69 '), Jaume Costa (71') and Farinós (90 ') for Villarreal.