Elche CF, a valuable point against Unai Emery's Team
On Spaniah Constitution Day Elche played in the 23,500 seater Ceramica Stadium, home of Villarreal, only 250km away between the cities of Valencia and Castellon.
The Villarreal manager, multi trophy winning Unai Emery, was all set for a game in which his side would monolplise. After all, his team had 20 points and occupied a Champions League 4th place in the La Liga table. Elche were just 3 points above the relegation zone, but still mid table in 10th place. Anticipating this the Elche manager, Jorge Almiron, set up his team to defend.
The first half passed without much to comment on. Elche CF played with order and disicpline in almost all of their actions. They did their job of closing down every one of Villareal's moves before the ball made it near Badia's goal. This tactic did leave them short of opportunities, but it also left Unai Emery wondering just how to deal with the Franjiverdes.
Both teams upped their games after half time, all to no avail. Elche CF had their 3rd and final attempted shot on the 55th minute. Villarreal had more chances including two corners in rapid succession, none of which were converted. Tensions were mounting and consequently a few yellow cards were issued, with the award for the best theatrical dives going to Villarreal. The home team continued to have chances, including a very near miss on 72 minutes. Freshly substituted Japanese International Kubo, finished off an exceptional set play piece involving Gerard and Parejo both Spanish International players. Kubo aimed the ball to Badia's bottom right corner, but Badia was not to be beaten and once again he saved Elche. Almiron was so content and confident and certain of his teams ability and performance that he decided not to make any changes, leaving it to the 87th minute to make his first substitution.
The stats really reflect the game. Elche had 3 attempted shots with none on target, whilst Villarreal had 12 shots, 3 of which were on target. Despite gaining just 1 point from the draw, Villarreal managed to move up 1 place on the table, whilst Elche maintained their 10th position.
Elche CF will take on 7th placed Andalusian based Granada on Sunday 13th November at 18:30 in the Martinez Valero.
As soon as spectators are allowed back into the stadiums, EuroTourGuide will once again be offering Coach Tours with Match Tickets to support Elche CF. Please sign up to receive your free newsletter on www.eurotourguide.com