Villarreal: Diego López; Zapata, Gonzalo
(Marchena 76'), Musacchio, Català; Marcos Senna, Bruno; Martinucchio
(Nilmar 70'), Borja Valero, Camuñas (Hernán Pérez 65');
Marco Rubén. 4-2-3-1.
Málaga: Kameni; Sergio Sánchez, Weligton, Mathijsen, Monreal; Nacho Camacho, Duda (Seba Fernández 65'); Cazorla, Isco (Rubén 82'), Eliseu; Rondón (Van Nistelrooy 70'). 4-2-3-1.
0-1. 65. Cazorla. Controlled Isco pass and struck angled shot past Diego López.
1-1. 83. Marcos Senna (penalty). After Kameni brought down Hernán Pérez.
2-1. 94. Hernán Pérez. Fired shot back in to net after Rubén punched out corner.
Yellow cards: Duda 32', Eliseu 57', Camacho 92', Van Nistelrooy 94' / red cards: Kameni 81'.
Seventeenth placed Villarreal opened up a seven point gap over the bottom three after a late 2-1 victory over fourth placed Málaga on Thursday. Honours were shared in the first half, with Marcos Senna brushing the crossbar with a long shot and Martinucchio shooting wide, and at the other end Rondón heading over and Isco bringing a good save out of Diego López. Twenty minutes in to the second half however the Andalusians went ahead, Cazorla beating the keeper but refusing to celebrate the goal out of respect for his old fans. It looked like Málaga were heading back to third spot when Hernán Pérez ran on to a long pass and was brought down in the area by Kameni, who was immediately shown a red card. Luckily Pellegrini still had a substitute left and brought on his third choice keeper Rubén. But he was unable to stop Senna's penalty, and with the game coming to an end he could only push out a corner as far as Hernán Pérez, who fired a shot back in to the net.