First Division - Day 4

Valladolid 0 - Villarreal 0

Valladolid: Ricardo; Torres Gómez, García Calvo, Peña, Heinze, Marcos; Richetti, Eusebio (Caminero 70'), Turiel (Jesús 80'); Kaviedes, Pachón (Cuauhtémoc 55'). 5-3-2.
Villarreal: López Vallejo; Galván, Quique Álvarez, Berruet, Arruabarrena; Jorge López (Escoda 67'), Amor, Gracia, Calleja; Víctor (Gaitán 85'), Craioveanu (Moisés 55'). 4-4-2.

Team changes: Valladolid: García Calvo for Santamaría / Villarreal: Gracia for Cagna.

Goals: None.

A boring match in Valladolid, with the highlight of the night being the return of Víctor Fernández to his old hunting ground. Víctor was snatched away from Valladolid by the Villarreal cheque book in a club record signing this summer, and all week long the home side were concerned about how to stop the Spanish international striker. One of the tactics was to give him an award before the match in honour of his four years with the club, hoping he would feel guilty and not play so well, and maybe this worked as Villarreal's top scorer this season spent 85 minutes lost in space before he was finally substituted to applause from the home crowd near the end. He was competently marked during that time however by García Calvo, who came back into the side after recovering from an ankle injury, the only change to a Valladolid side that is still unbeaten in the league. Their success meant there was no place in the starting line up for their three most expensive close season signings Bizzarri, Ciric and Cuauhtémoc, although the Mexican striker did at least make an appearance, white boots and all, in the second half.

Most of the play in the first half was in midfield, with neither side keen to risk anything. Valladolid were the best of a bad bunch, although apart from a Turiel header to the outside of a post, they didn't really trouble López Vallejo in the Villarreal goal until ten minutes before the interval, when Pachón woke the keeper up with a header on target. The main tactic of both sides was the up and under, long balls ballooned into the opponents penalty area hoping for a lucky break, which didn't get them anywhere. Early in the second half Moisés came on for Craioveanu, who had passed a late test but who was not fully fit, and Cuauhtémoc came on for the home team, delighting the crowd (and the television cameras) with his famous two footed kangaroo dribble. Villarreal got back into the game, and they were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when referee Losantos Omar ruled that Heinze's hand ball was accidental. But in the end both teams accepted the draw, maintaining both team's unbeaten records, Valladolid in all matches and Villarreal away. Villarreal have never scored in their four games at the Nuevo Zorrilla stadium, and on this showing it will be some time before they do so. Is there a good film on the telly tonight?