First Division - Day 16

Villarreal 2 - Real Sociedad 0

Villarreal: Reina; Belletti, Quique Alvarez, Ballesteros, Arruabarrena (Pedro Martí 46'); Guayre, Josico, Riquelme, Roger; Sonny Anderson (Xisco Nadal 88'), Víctor (César Arzo 62'). 4-4-2.
Real Sociedad: Alberto; López Rekarte, Schürrer, Kvarme, Aranzábal; Karpin, Boris, Xabi Alonso (Mikel Alonso 62'), Gabilondo (De Pedro 46'); De Paula (Nihat 60'), Kovacevic. 4-4-2.

Team changes: Villarreal: Arruabarrena, Guayre, Roger, Víctor for Javi Venta, Coloccini, Pedro Martí, José Marí / Real: Alberto, Boris, De Paula for Westerveld, Aranburu, Nihat.

1-0. 12. Riquelme. Shot from edge of area after defence failed to clear corner.
2-0. 33. Anderson. Picked up long throw out by Reina and ran on to score.

Real Sociedad suffered from the after-effects of their Champions' League match on Wednesday, and fell to another defeat in the league which leaves them still down in the bottom three. Despite their success in Europe, Raynald Denoueix's side have now gone eight league games without a win, and they found themselves behind in the twelfth minute when keeper Albero could only push out Belletti's cross, and Riquelme volleyed the ball back into the net from the edge of the area.

The Basque side had a chance to draw level though when the referee awarded them a penalty after Belletti blocked a pass with his arm, but local keeper Reina guessed right and dived to save Kovacevic's penalty kick. And a few minutes later Reina turned provider with a long throw which any cricketing fast bowler would have been proud of, sending Sonny Anderson away through the gap between Rekarte and Aranzábal for him to run on and place a shot into the net wide of Alberto.

Denoueix brought on De Pedro at the break and Nihat later on, and for a while the San Sebastian based side got back into the game. De Pedro tested Reina with a couple of free kicks, and Nihat brought the best save of the night out of the young keeper from close up. But Anderson should have made it three after Riquelme sent him away before Floro decided to call it a day and replaced the Brazilian striker with young defender Arzo. Villarreal move up the table to sixth pending Sunday's games. Real though are in trouble, and they must be thankful for the three month European break to enable them to concentrate on the league.