First Division - Day 25

Deportivo La Coruña 2 - Villarreal 1

Deportivo: Juanmi; Héctor, César, Andrade, Romero; Víctor (Scaloni 86'), Sergio, Duscher, Fran (Amavisca 60'); Makaay, Diego Tristán (Valerón 75'). 4-4-2.
Villarreal: Reina; Belletti, Quique Alvarez, Ballesteros, Arruabarrena; Guayre (De Nigris 66'), Quique Medina, Farinós (Javi Venta 76'), Jorge López; Víctor (Calleja 76'), Palermo. 4-4-2.

Team changes: Deportivo: César, Víctor, Fran for Naybet, Mauro Silva, Amavisca / Villarreal: Quique Medina for Josico.

0-1. 12. Jorge López (penalty). After Víctor pulled López himself back by his shirt.
1-1. 32. Diego Tristán (penalty). After referee ruled that Belletti had fouled Tristán.
2-1. 40. Víctor. Following up after Reina failed to hold on to César's header.

Deportivo moved up to second place pending Real Sociedad's game on Sunday with a 2-1 win over Villarreal. Although Irureta's team have an important Champions League game at Juventus midweek, the manager put out a very strong line up, with Víctor returning to the line up after missing the last few games through injury. They were caught out early on though when Jorge López won an early penalty when Víctor pulled on his shirt, López converting the penalty himself.

Depor reacted quickly, and Reina had to force away a header from César on the goal line. Then with half an hour gone referee Pino Zamorano gave them a helping hand, awarding a penalty kick after Belletti tackled Diego Tristán just inside the area. It seemed a dubious decision at best, as the Brazilian full back had clearly got to the ball, but Tristán stepped up to beat the keeper from the spot. Then eight minutes later Víctor reacted quicker than Arruabarrena to put his team in front after Reina let a César header slip through his hands.

The goal knocked the wind out of Villarreal's sails, and Depor pushed forward in the second half looking for a third. Héctor shot just wide and Makaay had the miss of the night, shooting over the bar with the goal at his mercy when substitute Valerón unselfishly passed to him. Reina saved bravely from the Dutch striker a few minutes later, but the Gallicians were left with ten men two minutes from the end after the linesman confirmed that César had head-butted new signing De Nigris in an off the ball incident. Even so Depor didn't give up the attack, and Makaay should have got the third goal when free in front of Reina, but he curled his shot against the bar.