Villarreal lost against Espanyol at the Estadio de la Cerámica in a match affected by heavy rainfall from start to finish. The Catalan side took the lead through Davod López and Raúl de Tomás, while Santi Cazorla pulled one back from the penalty spot for Villarreal. The Yellows' onslaught in the final minutes was without reward.
Javi Calleja set up with a 4-1-4-1 with Iborra as the holding midfielder and Bacca furthest forward. The game started badly fir the Yellows. The Catalan side opened the scoring from a corner kick. Naldo flicked the ball on at the front post and David López met it at the second to send it into the back of the net (m. 4).
The Submarine also had their own chances, with a move straight off the training ground involving Santi Cazorla, Samu Chukwueze and Manu Trigueros, who finally shot over the bar (m.19).
At the start of the second half, another blow. Jonathan Calleri crossed from the right, and Raúl de Tomás headed in to make it 0-2 in the 46th minute.
Calleja looked to the bench, hoping for a reaction. Moi Gómez replaced André-Frank Zambo Anguissa. Almost straight away after the change, Villarreal could have got one back. Manu Trigueros played a pass over the top, and Alberto Moreno was unable to make meaningful contact yards away from goal.
The Yellows’ push forward saw them make it 1-2. Moi shot and the ball hit Javi López’s arm. It was a penalty and a sending off, as it was the second yellow for the Espanyol right-back (m.62). With one man more on the pitch, the Submarine started to dominate.
Throwing everything at it. The Yellows’ siege climaxed in the last moments. Cazorla was close to getting his second with a shot from the edge of the area that ended up hitting the post. Bacca’s header shaved the post, while Javi Ontiveros’ fantastic free-kick forced Diego López into a great save. The scoreboard wouldn't change.
Next up for Villarreal is a match in the last 32 of the Copa del Rey against Girona at Montilivi (Wednesday, 9pm CET).
Villarreal CF: Asenjo; Mario Gaspar (Rubén Peña, m. 69), Albiol, Pau, Alberto Moreno (Ontiveros, m. 79); Cazorla, Anguissa (Moi Gómez, m. 53), Iborra, Trigueros; Chukwueze, Bacca.
RCD Espanyol: Diego López; Javi López, Bernardo, Naldo, Didac; Melendo (Calero, m. 73), David López (Iturraspe, m. 85), Marc Roca, Darder; Calleri (Víctor Sánchez, m. 63), Raúl de Tomás.
Goals: 0-1. Min. 4: David López. 0-2. Min. 46: Raúl de Tomás. 1-2. Min. 62: Cazorla (p).
Referee: González Fuertes (C. Asturiano). Booked: Trigueros (Villarreal); Dídac, Raúl de Tomás (Espanyol). Sent off: Javi López (m. 59, Espanyol)
Matchday information: Match corresponding to LaLiga Mathcday 20 at the Estadio de la Cerámica in front of 12,053 fans.