Villarreal are not managing to get the pace into the season and find the required stability. With the third part of the season already passed by, the ‘Yellow Submarine’ are 12th in LaLiga’s table and 2nd in the Champions League group stage with one fixture left, as they will have to beat Atalanta in order to book their ticket into the round of 16.
Unai Emery’s squad win few games compared to what they offer offensively, but they really struggle on scoring the multiple chances they create every game. Furthermore, their weakness on defense makes them to concede many goals, which is the cause why they barely get any victories. Their two matches against Manchester United really illustrate this dynamic.
“We did well both here and in Manchester, but we did not get any reward”
Unai Emery on the postgame press conference after their defeat against Manchester United
Villarreal are a team that tend to dominate possession and leak passes towards spacing areas in order to look for the speed of their strikers as a way to unbalance the games, but they are not being effective at all. They have only scored 16 goals in 15 fixtures so far in LaLiga, as they have only picked up three wins. They score short for all the chances they create.
According to the stats from infogol, the submarine should have scored 21 goals in LaLiga based on the opportunities they have had (expected goals). Only Danjuma has stood out on this aspect, as he has scored 5 goals in LaLiga and 2 in the Champions League, a data that has been very influenced by the absence of Gerard Moreno.
And if this was not enough, they have conceded 17 goals and drawn 7 games in LaLiga, their biggest issue on attempting to climb up positions on the table, which makes their 59,8% of possession and 85,2% of passing accuracy, according to whoscored, useless.
Emery’s team concede too easily. They allow a goal per game in LaLiga and show many lacks on set pieces and stupid mistakes that condemning them. Actions like Mandi’s at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, his defective pass backwards against Osasuna that ended on the winning goal by Chimy Ávila or the two goals by Cristiano Ronaldo in both Champions League games are all clear examples of serious mistakes that ruin their scores.
Their dynamic is shown every game: to dominate and deserve to win but in the end giving away and stacking on a spot that is too far from Europe.
Emery has decided to stay in order to change the course after the interest shown by Newcastle United and I am sure that he will finish the season due to the credit he has earned, but in the end the results are what run this sport and Villarreal must secure a spot into Europe in a league that is very even if they want to consolidate their project. If they maintain this streak, it will be imposible to accomplish their goal.
Main image: Twitter @VillarrealCF
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