First Division - Day 5

Sporting Gijón 0 - Villarreal 1

Sporting: Cuéllar; Sastre, Gerard, Neru, Canella; Matabuena, Camacho; Luis Morán, Carmelo (Maldonado 75'), Diego Castro (Barral 80'); Bilic. 4-2-3-1.
Villarreal: Diego López; Javi Venta, Fuentes, Godín, Capdevila; Edmilson (Eguren 74'), Marcos Senna; Mati Fernández (Cazorla 46'), Nihat (Rossi 46'), Ibagaza; Llorente. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Sporting: Cuéllar, Sastre, Gerard, Neru, Matabuena, Luis Morán, Carmelo, Diego Castro, Bilic for Sergio Sánchez, Raúl Cámara, Colin, Iván Hernández, Michel, Pedro, Kike Mateo, Maldonado, Barral / Villarreal: Javi Venta, Fuentes, Edmilson, Mati Fernández, Ibagaza for Angel, Gonzalo, Eguren, Cazorla, Pires.

0-1. 64. Rossi. Latched on to loose ball in area and fired shot past Cuéllar.

Yellow cards: Camacho 58', Cuéllar 65', Castro 67', Gerard 69', Cazorla 73', Bilic 87', Senna 90'.

Villarreal beat Sporting Gijón 0-1 on Saturday evening to move back above Valencia to top spot pending their game on sunday. After letting in 13 goals in their last two games, Sporting coach Manuel Preciado made nine changes to his line up, including keeper Sergio Sánchez who was replaced by Pichu Cuéllar. And with a bit of luck they could have taken the lead by half time, Carmelo bringing a good save out of Diego López and Bilic heading against the bar.

Villarreal's only reply was a Marcos Senna free kick which went just wide of the post, and at half time Pellegrini (who had rested some of his key players for Tuesday's Champions League tie with Celtic) decided to bring on Rossi and Cazorla. The move worked, and twenty minutes after the restart Rossi drove home what was to prove the only goal of the game. It was a controversial strike though, Ibagaza's corner clearly hitting Godín on the hand before falling to the USA born striker, and the incident cost Preciado a red card for protesting.

The Asturians could still have saved a point, Diego López saving from Bilic and Diego Castro missing an easy chance late on. But Villarreal had won again, their tenth victory in the last eleven league games, and they have not lost now since mid-April. Sporting have still not picked up a point since their return to the top flight, but at least this was an improvement.