Another experimental lineup. For the first time this season, Teresa started on bench, while Møller got her first start of the season. This time, Olga and Svava made up the left flank, with help of Claudia Zornoza. The right hand-side consisted of Oihane and Raso, while Møller and Bruun were operating more centrally. The center back duo for this game was Rocío-Ivana as the captain got her second start of the season after suffering injuries.
The entirety of the match was trying the same things over and over again, a quite repetitive array of events, but I will point out a few points.
The game started on Villarreal’s final third. In the first 5 minutes, Las Blancas already took two corners and in 5’ Sofie Svava took a daring shot which hit the crossbar, found Rocío in the box who took a strike, but the ball went just wide. In the continuation of the first half Las Blancas would get nervous at times and try random long-range shots. Villarreal were positioned way at the back, with 5 at the back most of the time. The Villarreal defense made it close to impossible to go through the middle in the attack and whenever the wingers would try to do something from the sides, they would often get 2 markers soon enough after getting the ball and the only way to get a shot was to either try a long range shot or to act quickly on the wings sending an immediate cross in the box.
There were no halftime substitutions, surprisingly. There was nothing new from what could be seen in the first half and the first substitution came in 62’ where Athenea and Linda replaced Raso and Møller. There was definitely more dynamic in the game. the ball moved faster when combining with either one of them, but the game went on goalless.
At 71’ Naomie and Teresa replaced Oihane and Zornoza. The atmosphere changed immediately. In the first minute on pitch, Teresa had at least 5 touches, orchestrating the play from the back and gradually trying to move the ball more upfront. She was the perfect support for every player on the pitch because whenever there was a problem with going up, Tere would be there to receive the ball back and send it to another place. The intentions certainly changed, however, there were a lot of moments in which the players would hesitate to shoot when some bit of space would open up between all Villarreal’s defenders.
As the time was passing, Real Madrid grew hungrier for the goal, but it wouldn’t come until the last minutes of the encounter.
90’ GOAL by Signe Bruun (1-0)! Teresa recovered the ball from McKenna in the middle, passed it to Olga on the left who went for a run, combined quickly with Linda at the entrance of the box which helped distract Villarreal’s defense for a moment opening up the space for Olga to pass to the center to Bruun where the Dane pushed the ball in.
In the next 6 minutes, Las Blancas were just trying to get the game to end, making another substitution - Freja for Bruun - to waste time. Ultimately, the 3 points stayed at home after frustrating 90 minutes.