First Division - Day 16

Villarreal 1 - Espanyol 1

Villarreal: López Vallejo; Xavi Roca, Unai, Quique Alvarez, Arruabarrena; Jorge López (Guayre 75'), Amor, Cagna, Calleja (Quique Martín 75'); Víctor, Craioveanu. 4-4-2.
Espanyol: Mora; Lopo, Soldevilla, Rotchen, David García; Alex Fernández, Morales; Martín Posse (Raúl Vates 85'), Palencia (Velamazán 68'), Roger (De Lucas 46'); Tamudo. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Villarreal: Xavi Roca, Amor, Calleja, Craioveanu for Galván, Galca, Xavi Gracia, Guayre / Espanyol: No change.

0-1. 03. Tamudo. Took pass from right and lifted past keeper before scoring.
1-1. 25. Calleja. Picked up bad clearance by Mora and shot into empty net.

Villarreal missed out on a chance to catch up with the top teams after being held to a 1-1 draw by Espanyol. Víctor Muñoz is looking for a centre forward to replace the injured Palermo for the rest of the season, but in the meantime he is making do with what he has got, Craioveanu coming in this week after under-21 international Guayre failed to impress the week before. The Catalan side were unchanged after beating Deportivo last week, and they surprised their opponents early on, Tamudo lifting the ball past López Vallejo and running it in to the net on a breakaway in the third minute. After that though it was all Villarreal, and a mistake by visiting keeper Mora later in the half after a poor back pass by Rotchen left Calleja with the easy task of scoring in to the empty net.

Mora made up for his error with a good save from a Unai free kick before the interval, and he did well to tip a shot from Víctor away in the second half as Villarreal kept up the pressure. Espanyol were lucky to get away with a penalty claim when Rotchen handled in the area, but having been pinned back for most of the match they almost took the three points when López Vallejo was forced to block a shot from Tamudo in the last minute. Villarreal stay in ninth place, with Espanyol a point below them in eleventh spot.