First Division - Day 36

Valencia 2 - Villarreal 3

Valencia: Cañizares; Miguel, Ayala, Raúl Albiol, Moretti; Marchena (Baraja 56'), Albelda; Joaquín, Angulo, Gavilán (Jorge López 56'); David Villa. 4-2-3-1.
Villarreal: Viera; Javi Venta, Fuentes, Gonzalo, José Enrique; Tacchinardi (Josico 70'), Marcos Senna; Cani, Guille Franco (Tomasson 77'), Pires (Matias Fernández 65'); Diego Forlán. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Valencia: Gavilán for David Silva / Villarreal: No change.

1-0. 20. David Villa (penalty). After Viera pulled down Villa himself inside area.
1-1. 34. Diego Forlán. Ran on to Guille Franco pass and shot inside near post.
1-2. 78. Tomasson. Picked up Mati Fernandez pass and ran on to beat Cañizares.
1-3. 88. Diego Forlán. Collected Tomasson cross and rounded keeper to score.
2-3. 90. Moretti. Glancing header across Viera from David Villa's wide free kick.

Valencia are out of the title race after they lost 2-3 to neighbours Villarreal in the first match of the weekend, a result which leaves them seven points behind joint leaders Real Madrid and Barcelona with two games to go.

The visitors were looking for a sixth win in a row to take them up to the UEFA cup spots, and they were unlucky to have a penalty appeal turned down early on after Moretti brought down Diego Forlán. But a few minutes later referee Rubinos Pérez did give one at the other end after Viera brought down David Villa, the striker converting the kick himself.

The locals could have increased the lead a couple of times, especially a header from Ayala against the bar, but soon afterwards Guille Franco sent Forlán away with a clever back-heel pass, and the striker ran on to shoot inside Cañizares's near post.

There were more chances for the home side after the restart, Viera saving from Jorge López and Angulo lifting a shot just wide of the mark. But Pelligrini brought on Tomasson, and within seconds he ran on to a pass from Mati Fernández to put his side ahead. And when the Danish forward set up Forlán for him to run past Cañizares and make it three, there were calls for the head of local coach Quique Flores.

With the game heading for extra time, Valencia did get another one back when Moretti headed Villa's free kick past Viera and in off the far post. But it was never enough to prevent their run of four wins in a row from coming to an end, and the only challenge left to them now is to tie up a Champions League spot. Villarreal move up to sixth, above Atlético pending their game on Sunday, and they have now produced their best winning run in their history in the top flight.