Villarreal has some what complicated it's options for promotion after their meeting with Elche last weekend. The score at El Madrigal ended at 2-3, despite a brilliant first half, the Submarines unfortunately succumbed to the might of Elche who were cooking on gas in the second half. With the loss the Yellows are now 5 points off second place.
From the off you could see the two teams battling hard to take control. Villarreal knew what they had to do and got stuck in straight away. They took control of the ball and were constantly looking for space to create danger for the opposition. Elche seemed happy to take a back seat and looked to take control and calm the rate of play, but the Yellows were on fire.
The Yellows determination to come out fighting gave Gerard a great opportunity in the second minute of play, Aquino broke into the area thanks to a great pass, however he was unable to make an attempt on goal when he was clearly fouled by Fidel. The referee, without hesitation, gave a penalty to Villarreal which was taken by Perbet. He took the penalty with ease and placed a low shot to the left of Manu Herrera (Elche's goal keeper). The Yellows were in the lead, but the tension was still palpable in the air of El Madrigal.
With a goal against them Elche galvanized into action, making the previously dominant Villarreal become uncomfortable under the pressure. As Elche gained momentum, Villarreal raised their game and also created danger of their own. In the 43rd minute Cani passed a great ball to Bruno who in turn passed to Gerard Moreno who had a clear shot on goal, but Manu Herrera got in front of the strike and saved the goal.
The second half of the game started with bad news for the Yellows. Within 5 minutes, Mantecón took advantage of intercepting the ball in the midfield and challenged the Yellows defence. Mantecón spotted an unmarked Charles Gil, who took a shot on goal that sailed past Juan Carlos and into the open goal. The game returned to it's initial state, but the boys from Elche did not stop there and decided to take advantage of the demoralised Villarreal. Fidel stepped up to the plate and from a short corner, assisted Generelo who brought the score to 1-2 from a well placed mid height goal.
Villarreal needed to equalise to have a chance of rectifying the situation they were in, which was clearly to the advantage of the visitors. The first clear opportunity for the Yellows came in 75th minute, when Perbet headed the ball off a save from Manu Herrera, but the ball missed the goal by mere centimetres.
But Villarreal was not ready to wave a white flag yet. In the 80th minute, Perbet took a header from a foul, which got past the defence and onto the feet of Uche, who took the opportunity to equalise the score. There was only 10 minutes left for the Villarreal supporters to suffer through, hoping to win at least one point.
Unfortunately, Elche dealt one last fell swoop to Villarreal in the 85th minute. From a foul on the wing, Ángel got around his marker and with a powerful header, put Elche ahead one final time, making the final score 2-3; only the second loss at home in El Madrigal this season.