Villarreal 1-1 Athletic Club: Postgame Player Ratings
Iago Herrerín 7/10
Athletic’s defense played so well that Iago Herrerín was rarely needed. However, he did a great job of leaving his line to punch away dangerous crosses and claim a few balls as well. He also made 2 saves and although he couldn’t keep the clean sheet, there was nothing he could do to prevent the goal in the second half. A quiet, yet solid night for the goalkeeper.
Ander Capa 7/10
Ander Capa was as reliable as ever. He contributed offensively with 2 dribbles, 1 key pass, and four crosses while also doing plenty of work defensively with 3 tackles, 3 interceptions, 1 header, and 4 clearances. Every time Capa plays he produces results and Villarreal struggled to play on his side of the field.
It’s amazing to realize that Yeray hasn’t had a bad game all season and against Villarreal he was solid once again. He may have only had 1 tackle but he also made 3 interceptions, won 5 headers, and cleared the ball a team high 9 times. Even better, Yeray had a shot on goal that could have turned out to be the game winner had it beaten the keeper.
Iñigo Martinez 9/10
Iñigo Martinez was the best player on the field at Estadio Cerámica on Sunday. Not only did he make 1 tackle and 3 interceptions, he cleared the ball 8 times while winning 6 headers. Every time Villarreal sent in a cross that looked dangerous Martinez was there to get rid of it. There was nothing the Yellow Submarine could do against the 27-year-old who was absolutely flawless.
Yuri Berchiche 8/10
Yuri Berchiche had the two biggest plays of the game, but only one of them counted. His cross in the first half led to Villarreal’s own goal and he gave the assist to Iñaki Williams for the winner that was overturned by VAR in the dying minutes of the game. Even taking those two moments out he was still very good on Sunday. The left-back gave 2 key passes, 2 crosses, 1 tackle, 1 interception, 1 header, and made 4 clearances while only losing the ball once in the entire game.
Dani García 7/10
Dani García is often the most influential player on the pitch for Athletic, but had a quieter night against Villarreal with both teams looking to utilize the wings. García won 4 headers, 2 tackles, 3 interceptions, and cleared the ball twice while also blocking a shot as well. It was another good game from the midfield, he just wasn’t as needed as usual because of the way the match was played.
It’s been interesting seeing how Beñat has evolved in Garitano’s system. Once a purely creative midfielder he is now contributing defensively in a way he never has before. Beñat led the team in tackles with 4, made 3 clearances, and 2 interceptions. He also led the team in passing by completing 88% of his attempts. Although Beñat defended well he didn’t provide as much going forward as he usually does and his first half yellow card means he will be suspended for the next game.
Ibai Gómez 6/10
Ibai Gómez made his first league start since returning to Athletic and had a major role to play early on. He got the first chance of the game which saw his shot hit the post and his second effort was just wide. Still, he made 5 crosses, more than any other player, as well as 1 key pass. His only contribution on defense was clearing 2 balls, but to be fair Capa was playing such a strong game at the back that Gómez was free to focus on attacking. The 29-year-old will be wishing that he had scored his first opportunity, but it was still a good game at right-wing.
Iker Muniain 6/10
Like the other midfielders Iker Muniain didn’t have as much impact on the game as he usually does. He won 1 dribble, 2 headers, and drew 4 fouls while trying to pull the strings in the behind the forwards. Muniain also tracked back constantly to help with defending where he did well to stand in passing lanes and force Villarreal to play the ball out wide.
Iñigo Córdoba 7/10
Iñigo Córdoba did much better with the ball at his feet than his previous game where he was indecisive and failed to make dangerous passes. Against Villarreal he won 2 dribbles, 5 fouls, and even had 3 shots although none were on target. The left-winger also contributed quite a bit defensively by winning 5 headers and 3 tackles which complicated things for the hosts. Córdoba may have lost the ball 3 times, but he played much better and was constantly in position to make things happen. He looked more confident and composed than he has all season.
Iñaki Williams 6/10
If Iñaki Williams’s finish in the second half would have counted it would have been his third straight game with a goal. Even though it was annulled by VAR the striker still had a positive game. Williams had 2 key passes, 2 dribbles, drew 2 fouls, and won 2 headers. His positioning was good for the most part, but Villarreal forced him to play more out of center which cut off some of his space to run in to. Had the goal stood, which many believe it should have, his score would be higher.
Mikel San José 5/10
Another second half substitution for Mikel San José who was brought on for Beñat with hopes to helping the team find an equalizer. He won 1 header, 1 tackle, and made 1 clearances but didn’t have enough time to really contribute anything more.
Oscar De Marcos 5/10
Oscar De Marcos came on for Ibai Gómez with about 14 minutes left to play and didn’t have the chance to really leave his mark. That being the case he still gave a key pass and made an interception while having 7 total touches of the ball.
Gorka Guruzeta 5/10
Gorka Guruzeta was brought on for Iñaki Williams in stoppage time when Athletic needed to score to take all three points. He put himself into scoring positions but the team wasn’t really able to create any serious looks in front of goal. The 22-year-old is clearly playing with more confidence after scoring against Sevilla and with more minutes he could really start helping the team in bigger ways.