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Villa leads the way in Audi Player Index

Five Aside
By ESPN Staff

Villarreal chief embarrassed by thrashing

MADRID, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Villarreal's president said on Thursday he was embarrassed by his side's 5-0 humbling at third-tier side Poli Ejido in the first leg of their Spanish Copa Del Rey last-32 tie on Wednesday.

Villarreal are fourth in the Primera Liga, two points behind leaders Valencia and joint top of Champions League Group E with holders Manchester United, but have now leaked 12 goals in their last three matches in all competitions.

Coach Manuel Pellegrini left several key players out of the team for Wednesday's match, including Spain international midfielder Marcos Senna, and brought on winger Santi Cazorla and forward Joseba Llorente only when already 3-0 down.

His side are left with a near-impossible task for the return leg at El Madrigal scheduled for November 12.

"I felt embarrassed by the team's performance," president Fernando Roig said on the club's website.

"We did not do anything well and when it's like that it's hard to win. Coming back from this will be very difficult, not to say impossible."

Villarreal travel to struggling Athletic Bilbao for their Primera Liga match on Saturday.

Sevilla, one point behind Villarreal in fifth place in the league, also suffered a shock Cup defeat to third-tier opposition on Wednesday, losing 1-0 at Ponferradina.

Coach Manolo Jimenez said the modest north-western club had deserved the victory as his side had been unable to show their superiority and lacked desire.

"Ponferradina showed more desire and spirit than us and that counts for a lot in football," he said on the club's website.

"We need to be very tough because the spirit of a team that was well organised on the pitch was too much for us and we deservedly lost."

Third-tier Real Union play league champions and 17-times winners Real Madrid on Thursday in the final first-leg tie of the round.


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