La Liga Round 28

UD Las Palmas 1-0 Villarreal CF


UD Las Palmas: Lizoain; Simón, Bigas, Lemos, Castellano; Goméz, Mesa, García; Viera, Boateng, Tana. (4-3-3)

Villarreal CF: Fernández; Mario, Musacchio, Ruiz, Costa; Dos Santos, Trigueros, Bruno, Castillejo; Soriano, Sansone. (4-4-2)

Round 28 started on Friday with an attractive game between UD Las Palmas and Villarreal CF. Both teams are in need of winning as much games as possible. Las Palmas want to get out from the middle pack of the table and get into Uefa Europa League positions. While Villarreal are battling against Atlético de Madrid and Real Sociedad for the fourth spot in the table.

Both teams are known for their offensive abilities and great ball-movement. Villarreal controlled the game for the first 10 minutes of the game. Their four-man midfield line did a nice job at blocking Las Palmas’ build-ups. Mauricio Lemos had troubles to complete passes thanks to the high pressure by the visitors. The duo of Manuel Trigueros and Bruno Soriano had a good control of the ball and the spaces on the midfield.

But everything changed after Lemos found the enough space to be the nucleus of a build-up. Roque Mesa was the connector of that play. Mesa drove the ball through the middle and passed it to Dani Castellano, who was on the left wing. Castellano sent the long cross to Villarreal’s box, so Kevin-Prince Boateng could score a fantastic header.

Boateng’s goal changed the pace of the game. Las Palmas took the control of the game away from Villarreal.  The team started to push Villarreal inside their box with their fluent ball-movement and great sense of space. The visitors were not able to find their pace anymore. This was clear after Víctor Ruiz received a red card after fouling Boateng from the back.

The red card forced Villarreal to be more conservatives and depend more on counter-attacks. Villarreal is not a counter-attacking team. Their players are not quick enough to beat the good defensive transitions by Las Palmas defenders. Boateng had a fantastic game with and without the ball. He has more freedom to impact the game when he plays as a false “9.” Boateng dragged rivals, created chances and marked Trigueros throughout the whole game. He was constantly moving to give support to his teammates on the passing game.

Las Palmas got a crucial victory against the best defense in the entire league. Villarreal, on the other hand, were lucky that Real Sociedad lost their game against Deportivo Alavés. Both teams are tied in points with 48.

About Jose Sanchez

Journalism student at the University of Florida. Venezuelan and future sports journalist.

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