Villarreal scraped past Espanyol on Wednesday night to end their torrid run of form.
The Yellows were four games without a win and two La Liga games without a win making the trip to Catalonia, leaving Quique Setién under pressure just weeks into his reign.
But a narrow in over Espanyol allowed Setién to breathe a little easier ahead of a Copa del Rey clash this weekend and then the month-long World Cup break.
Villarreal still looked a little open defensively, though Pau Torres was rested, likely to protect his World Cup dream. Striker Gerard Moreno was on the bench, and he is unlikely to start between now and the break for the same reason, though he did get some minutes later on.
Javi Puado should have done better with an early effort for the hosts, deciding not to square the ball to his teammate for a tap-on, while Yeremy Pino saw a half-volley well saved.
Geronimo Rulli’s best save of the nigth came when Keidi Bare took aim from close range - the Argentine managed to repell it with his outstretched leg.
The winner came in the 64th minute when Yeremy again took aim, hitting the post. The ball then fell to Alberto Moreno, who tried to fire it back across ball, but it slammed against Espanyol keeper Benjamin Lecomte, who was unlucky to deflect the ball into the back of his own goal.
A break Villarreal needed, and they now head into the break - via a Copa del Rey outing - in winning ways, and somehow, within three points of the top four.