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Villarreal take big step toward Europe with victory over Valencia

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Villarreal do the double over Los Che.

Villarreal CF v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

An 86th-minute goal from “Super Mario” Gaspar gave Villarreal a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Valencia in the latest installment of this derby. It is the third consecutive home win for the Yellow Submarine, and puts Villarreal in a strong position to qualify for the Europa League.

Both teams had chances to open the scoring in the first half, but both keepers were equal to the task; Villarreal’s best chance came from Carlos Bacca late in the half, while Valencia had a couple of good chances snuffed out by Sergio Asenjo before that.

Manu Trigueros was outstanding for Villarreal today and he provided the assist for the winning goal with an excellent free kick; Mario’s header wasn’t particularly powerful, but it was perfectly placed past Neto’s despairing dive.

With this win, Villarreal are on 57 points from 35 matches, with away games against Deportivo and Barcelona and a home tie against Real Madrid.

Sevilla are on 51 points and have Real Madrid at home, Alaves at home and Betis away. Keep in mind Sevilla owns the tiebreak over Villarreal.

Getafe are on 49 points; they play away at Las Palmas and Malaga—two already relegated teams—and at home to Atletico Madrid. (Getafe own the tiebreak with us, too). So unless Getafe run the table, Sevilla win twice and Villarreal lose their three remaining matches, we will be in Europe again.

Endavant Villarreal!!