Positive start by Las Palmas
UD Las Palmas headed to El Madrigal on the back of two consecutive victories in the Liga BBVA for the first time this season, and they made a brave start despite taking on one of the most in-form sides in the competition. The Canary Islanders dominated possession during the first half and caused significant problems for Alphonse Areola, who had not conceded at home since 6 December.
The end of Areola's run
Willian Jose gave fair warning with a shot which skimmed the Frenchman’s post, and the visitors’ domination would be rewarded shortly afterwards with an impressive David Garcia header to make it 1-0. The goal, the first by Las Palmas’ captain in the Liga BBVA, put an end to Villarreal CF’s six game run without conceding at home in the league, and sparked a reaction from Marcelino Garcia Toral’s players.
The home team react
Villarreal advanced their lines and started to press high up the pitch, forcing Las Palmas to take a step backwards and changing the face of the game. The home team took control in the second half, but this was not enough to allow them to create any clear chances against a well positioned defence.
Bakambu should have equalised
Cedric Bakambu came off the bench in the final stages and gave Villarreal more depth to their game and a clear superiority in the air. The striker had two chances to draw level, but failed to get either of his headers on target.
Great defensive intensity from the visitors
Villarreal pushed hard in search of a goal, but were denied any space by the visitors’ defence. Las Palmas refused to give them an inch, despite the insistence of the home team. Javi Varas produced some heroics to block a Denis Suarez shot, helping Las Palmas keep their third clean sheet in a row and leave El Madrigal with a vital victory.© LaLiga - Year 2016