|First Division - Day 19|
Racing Santander 1 - Villarreal 0
Racing: Dudu Aouate;
Pinillos, Pablo Alfaro, Oriol, Ayoze; Antonio Tomás (Aganzo 73'),
Matabuena; Raúl Martín (Vitolo 46'), Felipe Melo, Oscar Serrano;
Antoñito (Neru 46'). 4-2-3-1.
Team changes: Racing: Pablo Alfaro, Raúl Martín for Moratón, Casquero / Villarreal: Quique Alvarez, Josico for Gonzalo Rodríguez, Cazorla.
Villarreal drop a place down the table to sixth after they were beaten 1-0 by Racing Santander, the Cantabrians first home win since 21st September. Pellegrini's side started well, and both Diego Forlán and Sorín went close. But Antoñito wasted a chance on a quick counter-attack, and only a minute later the home side took the lead when Matabuena headed Raúl Martín's cross past Viera.
Veteran defender Pablo Alfaro was making his first appearance since moving back to the Sardinero stadium from Sevilla, but he couldn't have had a worst debut, getting himself sent off and giving away a penalty for a foul on Sorín just before the break. However Aouate guessed right and dived to save Riquelme's spot kick, the first that the Argentine midfielder has missed in Spain.
Both managers made changes at half time, Preciado bringing on an extra defender Neru, and Pellegrini putting on the more attacking Héctor Font for Josico. Soon afterwards Racing were left with nine when Pinillos picked up a second booking and Guayre came on for Arruabarrena, but three minutes later the visitors too had a man sent off when Font was also shown a second yellow card. After that Villarreal threw everything forward, but to no avail, and the locals had increased their unbeaten run to six games.