Villarreal’s defender Mario Gaspar Perez Martinez (L) vies with Real Sociedad’s defender Yuri Berchiche during the Spanish league football match Real Sociedad vs Villarreal CF at the Anoeta stadium in San Sebastian on Februry 19, 2017.
ANDER GILLENEA / AFP
Villarreal kept their hopes of Champions League football next season alive as Samu Castillejo’s 93rd minute winner secured a vital 1-0 win at Real Sociedad on Sunday.
Just a second win of 2017 moves sixth-placed Villarreal to within two points of Sociedad and six of Atletico Madrid in fourth.
The visitors suffered the ignominy of a 4-0 thrashing at home to Roma in the Europa League on Thursday.
However, the best defence in La Liga recovered to record a 12th clean sheet in 23 games this season as Villarreal enjoyed the better chances.
Bruno Soriano headed against the bar from point-blank range and substitute Nicola Sansone had a strong penalty appeal waived away.
Yet, Villarreal got their reward with the last attack of the game as Jaume Costa’s brilliant in-swinging cross was volleyed home first time by Castillejo.
Later on Sunday, Barcelona are also looking to bounceback from a 4-0 mauling at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain in midweek when they host lowly Leganes at the Camp Nou.