Villarreal earned a well-deserved victory over Cordoba (2-0) in a superb match that saw Julio Velzquez's men run Cordoba ragged from the start and, despite leaving it late to open up their goal tally, finally emerge victorious thanks to the first strikes of the season from Hernan Perez and Uche. The victory maintains Villarreal's 100% home record in the matches they have played against Real Madrid Castilla, Guadalajara, Hercukes and Cordoba.
Both sides lined up with an open style from the very start. Villarreal looked to settle quickly on the ball as they worked it forward from defence while the visitors braced themselves in midfield as they faced the attacks from Velazquez's men. Under pressure but a long way from afraid, the Andalusian outfit looked to hunt the ball down in midfield to launch their attacks while the Submarine took the initiative from the opening whistle.
With just one minute played Villarreal made the most of good work from the Catalan, Joan Oriol, who found Jaume Costa only for the Valencian to see his low cross fly just past the post. With 13 minutes played, Cavenaghi received a superb pass from Cani only for the play to be brought back for a dubious offside decision, after the Argentine striker found himself one on one with Alberto in the Cordoba goal.
With half an hour played Villarreal began to take control with the best chance of the half falling to Cavenaghi after a great assist from Bruno left him one on one with the visiting keeper, only for the Argentinian's attempt to chip Alberto to fall short and land in the keeper's hands.
More chances followed soon after with the visitors relying on some last ditch defending to keep the match level and it was Cavenaghi again who came close from the right when his effort following Jaume Costa's pass flew long.. Julio Velazquez's men were getting closer and closer but the scoreboard remained unmoved.
The second half saw much of the same with the Yellows camped out in the Cordoba half and Hernan Perez received the plaudits of the crowd for his ferocious 54th minute volley following a deflection from a corner.
Four minutes later a controversial passage of play saw both sides reduced to ten men after Joan Oriol and Lopez Silva's tangle for the ball culminated in both players receiving straight red cards.
The double sending off did nothing to change the desire of either or the two sides although Cordoba did begin to show a bit more hunger and Rennella came close failing by centimetres to head home from the six yard box following a free kick. With 75 minutes played Pandiani also had a golden opportunity only for Alberto to save his header at the last moment.
Villarreal finally got the goal they deserved in the 79th minute when Pandiani tried his luck from outside the area with a low shot that was deflected by Alberto into the path of Hernan Perez who was able to finish at leisure.
And in time added on, Mario won possession in midfield before finding Uche who, with all the calmness in the world, lost his marker before hitting a sweet strike past the visiting keeper.
Villarreal: Juan Carlos; Mario, Mellberg, Musacchio, Loan Oriol; Cani, Bruno, Jaume Costa; Hernan Perez, Gerard Borda (Pandiani, 67'); Uche, 83') and Cavenaghi (Trigueros, 63').
Cordoba: Alberto; Cristian, Alberto Aguilar, Kiko Olivas (Patino, 82'), Fuentes; Lopez Silva, Lopez Garai, Abel (Pepe Diaz, 54'), Dubarbier, Caballero; and Rennella (Pedro, 62').
Goals: 1-0, min. 79: Hernan Perez. 2-0, min. 90: Uche.
Referee: Fernando Lopez Acera. Yellow cards for Villarreal's Manu Trigueros (75') and Cani (88') and Cordoba's Kiko (53'), Dubarbier (71'), Lopez Garai (75') and Caballero (93'). Straight red cards for Joan Oriol (Villarreal) and Lopez Silva (Cordoba) in the 57th minute.
Match played at the Masdrigal corresponding to the seventh week of fixtures in the Spanish second division, with the day's matches being dedicated to the Clean Game initiative by the Liga Professional League (LFP)