A Cani wonder-goal
A spectacular lob from the half-way line by Ruben Cani helped Villarreal to a 4-2 victory over Osasuna on Saturday which kept them in third place in La Liga and maintained their push for a place in Europe.
Villarreal went into the game with several important players missing but Marco Ruben took advantage of a rare start with the opening goal.
Osasuna drew level from a corner with Krisztian Vadocz heading home but they were soon behind again when Cani spotted keeper Ricardo Lopez off his line and lofted the ball from the half-way line over his head.
In an exciting end-to-end game Joan Capdevila and Gonzalo Rodriguez scored further goals for Villarreal with substitute Javier Calleja finding the back of the net in between for the visitors.
"We have played a lot of games and to maintain this level is not easy. We have managed it as a team by suffering and fighting in each game. This match was tough and to win without playing particularly well gives you a boost," said Villarreal coach Juan Carlos Garrido.
Osasuna coach Jose Antonio Camacho admitted that Cani's goal was a big blow.
"I told the keeper to push forward a bit and they caught us out. We now need to keep working but we have to do more than that to win as we are working hard at the moment," he said.
A brace from Jose Callejon gave Espanyol a 2-1 win over Sevilla which put them on the verge of the Champions League places but the real star was keeper Carlos Kameni.
Early goals from Javi Martinez and Iker Muniain set Athletic Bilbao up for a 2-1 victory over Racing Santander.
Real Sociedad bounced back from four straight defeats with a convincing 4-0 win away to in-form Getafe.
Villarreal 4 (Ruben 22, Cani 50, Capdevila 65, Gonzalo 84)
Osasuna 2 (Vadocz 47, Calleja 71)
Real Zaragoza 1 (Gabi 45) Levante 0
Getafe 0 Real Sociedad 4 (Prieto
10-pen, Griezmann 32,
Aranburu 88, 90)
Sporting Gijon 2 (Barral 1,
Cases 31) Hercules 0
Athletic Bilbao 2 (Martinez 7, Muniain 10) Racing
Santander 1 (Bolado 74)
Sevilla 1 (Negredo 90+1) Espanyol 2 (Callejon 41, 78)