Villarreal back to winning ways
Last Updated: 10/05/14 10:25pm
Jonathan Pereira (r): Scored a third goal for Villarreal
Villarreal produced a complete performance to thrash a sorry Rayo Vallecano 4-0 and pick up their first win in just under a month.
Ikechukwu Uche knocked in the opener after 22 minutes, while Bruno Sioriano extended the hosts' advantage shortly before half-time.
Jonathan Pereira hit a third early in the second period and Jaume Costa added another 10 minutes later, after Rayo defender Anaitz Arbilla had been given a straight red card.
Rayo had none of the precision that has been so key to their revival over the last two months, and returned to making the same mistakes they made so often in the first half of the season.
It is the first time Paco Jemez's side have suffered two straight defeats since February and complicates their hopes of achieving a top-10 finish.
Villarreal, meanwhile, move on to 56 points and still have a slim chance of pipping Real Sociedad to sixth place.
This was a comprehensive display from Marcelino's side, who nearly took the lead in the opening minutes, Cani's distance shot landing just above Ruben Martinez's crossbar.
The Rayo goalkeeper had to make his first intervention a few minutes later to prevent a looping cross from Cani dipping in at the far post, and then kept out a low shot from Gabriel Paulista, with Roberto Trashorras heading the rebound from Giovani dos Santos off the line.
It was becoming clear which team was going to score the opening goal, which arrived midway through the first half.
Villarreal reclaimed the ball in Rayo's half and Giovani spotted a gap in the Rayo defence which allowed him to play in Mateo Musacchio, who got to the ball before Ruben and squared for Uche to nudge into an empty net.
Alberto Bueno tried to respond immediately for the visitors with an ambitious effort from 30 yards that fizzed just over the bar. It was a rare opportunity for Rayo, who found themselves another goal down just before the break, Villarreal again exploiting a weakness down their opponents' left-hand side.
Uche got down the right of the area and then laid the ball off for substitute Aquino, who sped past Razvan Rat to square for Bruno, who drove the ball into the bottom corner from 12 yards out.
The Villarreal captain appeared to injure himself while shooting and went off immediately after scoring, replaced by Jaume Costa.
Rayo went into the second half even less focused than in the first and deserved the thrashing they received. Ruben had to react quickly to prevent Costa from scoring the third, but could do nothing about Alejandro Galvez's failure to clear a through ball, allowing Pereira to race towards goal and chip the goalkeeper.
Arbilla decided the only way to stop Moi Gomez from getting a fourth was to clatter the midfielder before he got to the area, and the defender was deservedly shown a red card.
His rash foul looked even more foolish when Ruben failed to hold on to Manu Trigueros' free-kick, and Costa pounced to knock in the rebound from one yard out and complete the rout.
Spanish Primera BBVA
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