Cazorla's comeback joy
Villarreal playmaker Santi Cazorla has spoken of his delight after putting his injury misery behind him with a sensational return to action against Getafe yesterday.
Cazorla missed most of the run-in to last season after suffering a broken leg in April that required an operation, and then in October he picked up a back injury that kept him sidelined for another month-and-a-half. The Spain international enjoyed a stunning return to action yesterday, though, slamming home a spectacular volley from the edge of the box only two minutes after replacing Robert Pires midway through the second half.
That goal saw 10-man Villarreal draw level with Getafe at 2-2 and the Yellow Submarine went on to claim a remarkable win when Joan Capdevila slotted home his second of the match with four minutes to go. Cazorla said: "I was very moved because just by going out onto the pitch I received a great reception from the fans.
"On top of that, I was fortunate enough to be able to score and this always helps you forget the bad moments of recent weeks, where I've worked hard to be ready as quickly as possible." He added of his recent spinal injury: "When I saw the ball go in (for his goal), I remembered the problems I've had with my back and of the herniated disc between the two vertebrae.
"There are always doubts when you return to the pitch after a problem of this type but, after those good first few minutes and the goal I scored, things started to look different. There have been difficult times, including having doubts about when you might be able to return. So to come back like I did in this manner gives me great joy."
The victory, which saw Villarreal claim all three points despite trailing twice and having both Ruben Cani and Angel Lopez sent off at either end of the second half, moved Ernesto Valverde's side up to 11th place. Not so long ago, Villarreal were rooted to the foot of the table following a dismal start to the campaign but they had been making good progress prior to last weekend's 1-0 defeat by Sporting Gijon.
"After what happened in Gijon we needed a victory like this, to turn the page as soon as possible and show what this team can do," added Cazorla. "It's been tough at times but we came through and the three points are very welcome ahead of our trip to Madrid (on Saturday), because the match against Atletico will not be easy at all."