Second game of the Second Round in this atypical 2020/21 season. A difficult ground to visit the destination was the Estadio Romero Cuerda against CF Villanovense, the team with the second least goals conceded in the league with only 8 goals in 19 games, and a direct rival for the two places to remain in the PRO league next season. The game had more significance after Rayo Majadahonda won the day before to take a clear lead at the top of the table. Xavi Calm’s team arrived in good form, with two back to back victories and the Catalan manager’s reign off to a good start with two wins and a draw to take 7 points from 9.
Calm kept the same team who won last week at Don Benito 1-0, the same first 11 for the third game in a row, with the only exception being Peris for Acosta two games ago against Getafe B due to suspension for the Valencian right back. With Cañas and Armando in the centre of the pitch, René Román in goal, a back four of Luca Ferrone and Peris at full back and Pedro Orfila and Olaortua at centre back, David Haro and Canario on the wings and Manel and Vini up front. The front two have been on a great run with one or the other scoring or assisting for the last few games. The team played an impressive game away from home, playing as if they were back in their home ground.
The first half was dominated by ATB: dangerous going forward, without allowing opportunities at the back. Cañas and Armando raised the tempo of the game. In the first half every opportunity that the team had went in. Great play from Vini on the left who wont the ball with great commitment and crossed with his left foot for Manel to head into the back of the net. 1-0 and the third goal for the Catalan who also has four assists this season. The goal was well deserved with the domination of the visitors. In the 22nd minute Haro broke the offside trap after a pass from Vini and was one on one with keeper Pedro who managed to save – a great opportunity. In the 32nd minute it was Armando who drove forward to break through the back line and fire into the hands of Pedro. In the 38th minute came a fantastic team effort – Cañas played Canario in down the wing who controlled and passed to Luca whose fantastic shot was blocked by a defender. In the 33rd minute Luca cleared practically off the goal line after a nice move from Villanovense, although in the end the referee blew for a foul on Pedro Orfila. The centre backs had a great game like the rest of the team. In the 44th minute Vini nearly scored the second after great play from Manel, his shot hitting the far post. The teams went into the break at 1-0.
At the start of the second half there was a great chance for Villanovense after great play from Viñuela to beat Peris and then play a killer pass that was only cleared at the last second by the defender as the striker was about to stab it in. In the 59th minute a great cross from Luca saw Vinicius head it home for 2-0 and finish the game off for ATB. There would be no other major threats for them to deal with in the game and René was a walla at the back. In fact, in the 70th minute he made a great save from a cross to the back post, saving Cristo’s point blank effort confidently. Xavi made some changes, bringing on Cordero for Armando first and then Cristian and Coro for Cañas and Vini to solidify things. In the last few moments of the game Baselga and Acosta also come on to settle things down. In the 76th minute Manel played in Cordero who shot from the edge of the box into the hands of keeper Pedro. In the 78th Miguel Diaz fired a header wide from a corner, and Valentín did the same in the 85th. Villanovense we’re able to change the score and the game ended 2-0 to bring ATB level on points with Villanovense in the league.
CF Villanovense: 13. Pedro, 2. Parras (79′ 22. Mena) 5. Bonaque (c), 8. Clausi, 9. Cuero (68′ 20. Cristo), 11. Dani Martínez (78′ 7. David Moreno), 12. Samu Hurtado, 14. Julen (68′ 21. Valentín), 15. Iván Cabellud (45′ 16. Miguel Díaz), 17. Viñuela, 18. Adri Escudero.
Atlético Baleares: 13. René, 2. Luca Ferrone, 3. Peris, 4. Olaortua, 6. Armando (69′ 1.6 Cordero), 7. David Haro, 8. Cañas (88′ 5. Cristian), 9. Vinicius (81′ 20. Coro), 10. Canario (88′ 18. Acosta), 11. Manel (88′ 19. Baselga) y 22 Pedro Orfila (c).
Goals: Manel 17′ 0-1 and Vinicius 59′ 0-2
G. González (Tenerife). Bookings for Villanovense: Julen Bookings for ATB: Peris.
Estadio Romero Cuerda: 900 Spectators.
POST MATCH COMMENTS:
Xavi Calm: “It was a game in a difficult stadium to visit, against a team who are well organised and fight for the ball. The team was brave with the ball, to make the first pass was important, they are three well deserved points that give us the energy to keep going. I’m happy for the players and with their effort. I said before that this was a matter of motivation that we had to change because the players were frustrated after not achieving results despite working very hard. With better results the team has been growing and now with points on the board too everything is much easier but we need to keep working and be focused in games and compete like we did today, where we have played a great game. We are feeling good because we knew against a team that has only conceded 8 goals it gives you an idea of how hard they work in defense, it was a complicated game but we did so well. This doesn’t end here and the format (of the competition) is short – we need to keep going. All the games are important , but today of course this is a rival that we wanted to overcome because they are ahead of us. We were good mentally and on the pitch. I don’t want to single out any single player they all played well as a team.
Manel: “It was a very competitive game for both teams, we created chances especially in the first half. We defended well and scored twice and they only had one chance from a corner. It’s a deserved win. Villanovense is a tough opponent that is competing for the same thing as us and after I scored, well it was very satisfying. I think in the end there has been a change of dynamic and mentality in the team and all the players are focused on what we have to do, but there is a long way to go yet. I feel more confident every day and I’m giving everything I have to the team. I think Vini and I complement each other well, we work hard and that’s bearing fruit with goals, assists and helping the team.”