First Division - Day 20

Villarreal 3 - Valencia 0

Villarreal: Diego López; Javi Venta, Godín, Cygan, Capdevila; Marcos Senna (Mavuba 46'), Bruno; Cani, Nihat (Cazorla 73'), Pires (Gonzalo Rodríguez 88'); Rossi. 4-2-3-1.
Valencia: Hildebrand; Arizmendi, Raúl Albiol, Caneira, Moretti; Baraja, Marchena; Joaquín (Banega 64'), David Silva (Mata 78'), Vicente; David Villa (Zigic 59'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Villarreal: Diego López, Javi Venta, Godín, Cani for Viera, Josemi, Fuentes, Cazorla / Valencia: Caneira, Vicente, David Villa for Iván Helguera, Montoro, Mata.

1-0. 06. Pires. Picked up ball from Nihat and curled shot past Hildebrand.
2-0. 63. Capdevila. Turned ball in from close up after Godín headed on corner.
3-0. 70. Nihat. Got on the end of Rossi's cross to lob ball past keeper in off bar.

Villarreal moved up to third in the table pending Sunday's games after beating neighbours Valencia 3-0 on Saturday evening. Pires gave Pellegrini's side an early lead when he beat Hildebrand from left of the area, and Nihat could have increased the lead when he hit the post with a free kick a few minutes later. Baraja responded with a shot from outside of the area which Diego López tipped on to the bar, but Nihat tested Hildebrand with another free kick and then hit the post for the second time with the goal at his mercy.

David Villa almost caught out Diego López with a wide free kick early in the second half, but the striker limped off soon afterwards to be replaced by Zigic. A few minutes later Cani hit the bar again, and from the ensuing corner Capdevila turned the ball in from close up after Godín headed across. Nihat finally got the goal he was looking for, spooning the ball over Hildebrand and in off the crossbar after Rossi set him up, and Rossi missed the easiest of chances to make it four when he failed to turn in Cani's cross late on. A comfortable win for the hosts which leaves Ronald Koeman's side struggling without a win in their last eight league games.