It turned out to be a tough afternoon for Marcelino's men, as they had to come from behind to snatch a point against Eibar at El Madrigal.
Villarreal started strongly but failed to take their early chances. Bruno delivered a clever ball over the top for Soldado who took the ball down well before switching it to Bakambu but with the Eibar keeper racing off his line, he had to stretch for the ball and dragged his shot wide.
Eibar took the lead slightly against the run of play. After Bakambu had been dispossessed on the half-way line, Eibar countered down the right and found Borja Bastón. He took the ball into his stride and chipped it between the Villarreal centre-backs, who were all at sea, for Sergi Enrich to volley past Villarreal keeper Areola.
To add to Villarreal's woes, defender Eric Bailly was stretchered off minutes later as he fell awkwardly after an aerial challenge, and was replaced by veteran Daniele Bonera.
The visitors weren't content to rest on their laurels and pressed for a second but they found Areola in fine form. He made several stops to keep them at bay, the pick of the bunch being a finger-tip save to deny Keko's long-range effort.
Soldado almost equalized, after some fine movement up front by Bakambu to set him up, but with the goal at his mercy he shot straight at the legs of Asier Riesgo in the Eibar goal. It would prove to be a frustrating afternoon for Roberto Soldado, as he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season for dissent and will now miss the next match.
Eibar were awarded a penalty for an off-the-ball incident involving Jaume Costa. The crowd were perplexed, the Villarreal bench were incensed, and Marcelino had to vacate himself from the dugout before he got himself sent off (again). From the replay, it looked like six of one, half a dozen of the other, as both players had a hold of each other, but referee Eduardo Prieto pointed to the spot. Dani García stepped up and although it had the power, his spot kick was at a good height for goalkeeper Alphonse Areola to parry it away.
Both teams finished the game with ten men for different reasons. Bonera hobbled off with an injury when Villarreal had already used all three subs, whereas Eibar winger Keko received two yellow cards in quick succession, the second for a senseless handball.
With five minutes left of normal time, the equalizer came from an unlikely source. Jaume Costa attacked down the left, and played it to Denis Suárez who threaded a superb return pass to the overlapping full-back, and he prodded the ball in off the far post.
Despite a frantic finish to the game, Villarreal were unable to grab a last-gasp winner, but on the balance of play can't have too many complaints about the result. It was still enough to push the Yellow Submarine up to 4th in the table on goal difference.
Villarreal (0) 1
A. Areola; Mario Gaspar, E. Bailly (D. Bonera 34'), Víctor Ruíz, Jaume Costa; Samu Castillejo, Bruno, Trigueros (J. dos Santos 54'), Denis Suárez; C. Bakambu (Samu 62'), Soldado
Subs not used: Barbosa, Rukavina, Tomás Pina, Nahuel
Goals: Jaume Costa 85'
Bookings: Jaume Costa, Soldado, Mario Gaspar
Eibar (1) 1
Asier Riesgo; A. Pantić, Ekiza (Ramis 74'), M. Dos Santos, Juncà; Saúl Berjón (T. Inui 80'), Dani García, G. Escalante, Keko; Sergi Enrich (Luna 86'), Borja Bastón
Subs not used: Xabi Irureta, Eddy Pascual, Adrián, Mikel Arruabarrena
Goals: Sergi Enrich 27'
Bookings: Keko, G. Escalante, Dani García
Sent off: Keko