Almería: Esteban; Juanma Ortíz (Chico
72'), Acasiete, Pellerano, Mané; Iriney, Juanito; Corona (José
Ortíz 75'), Piatti, Crusat; Negredo (Nieto 86'). 4-2-3-1.
Villarreal: Diego López; Javi Venta, Gonzalo, Fuentes, Capdevila; Cazorla, Eguren (Cygan 61'), Matilla, Pires; Llorente (Guille Franco 54'), Rossi (Mati Fernández 54'). 4-4-2.
Team changes: Almería: Esteban, Corona, Negredo for Diego Alves, Bruno, Kalu Uche / Villarreal: Javi Venta, Gonzalo, Matilla, Pires, Llorente for Ángel, Godín, Marcos Senna, Nihat, Ibagaza.
1-0. 07. Negredo. Got above marker to head Crusat cross down past keeper.
2-0. 20. Piatti. Ran on to Negredo pass and fired shot wide of Diego López.
3-0. 35. Mané. Picked up long ball on breakaway and cut past defender to score.
Yellow cards: Fuente 21', Javi Venta 24', Pellerano 41', Pires 44', 58', Juanma Ortíz 44', Gonzalo 60' / red cards: Pires 58'.
Fourth placed Villarreal lost ground on the top three after a 3-0 defeat at Almería. Keepers Esteban and Diego López were in action early on, but the locals struck first when Negredo headed Crusat's cross down in to the net in the seventh minute. And a few minutes later the striker turned provider, setting up Piatti for him to run and score his side's second.
Villarreal appeared to have their minds more on next Tuesday's Champions League game with Arsenal, and with ten minutes to go to the break Mané took advantage to make it three. Negredo volleyed a shot against the post soon after the restart, and Pellegrini gave the match up for lost, taking off his two front men early in the second half.
The visitors suffered a double blow soon after that though, Pires getting himself sent off for a second bookable offence and Cazorla having to be stretchered off after breaking his leg in a bad fall with all three substitutions already made. The Spanish international winger is expected to miss the rest of the season, as well as next summer's Confederations Cup.
Negredo brought a good save out of Diego López near the end and was given a standing ovation by his fans as he was substituted near the end, but with his opponents "missing in action" the match was already over.