Deportivo deny Villarreal third place
Villarreal were unable to reclaim third place off Valencia tonight after slumping to another surprise defeat, this time 1-0 at the hands of struggling Deportivo La Coruna.
A week after seeing their unbeaten home record ended by relegation-threatened Levante, Villarreal suffered another loss after going down to a Depor side who had lost six of their last seven league and cup games.
Alberto Lopo scored the only goal of the game in the 60th minute as Villarreal, who dropped to fourth place following Valencia's win over Atletico Madrid last night, lost only their sixth match of the season.
The Yellow Submarine suffered a blow before kick-off when key striker Giuseppe Rossi was ruled out through illness, and without the Italy international Juan Carlos Garrido's side struggled to create much to worry Depor.
The home side started the better and Diego Colotto was inches away from netting early on before striker Adrian was denied when one-on-one with Diego Lopez after bursting through the Villarreal defence.
Villarreal's only serious effort of the opening period came just before half-time when Gonzalo Rodriguez's glancing header brought a diving save out of Daniel Aranzubia.
Goalmouth incidents were also at a premium in the second half, although Depor managed to create a clear opening on the hour-mark, and Lopo took advantage to net what would turn out to be the only goal of the game.
Antonio Tomas' free-kick into the area was headed down by Juan Rodriguez and the unmarked Lopo flung himself at the ball to poke it past Lopez from close range.
Villarreal could find no way back after that and they will hope for better in midweek when they take on Napoli in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League last-32 tie.